Sergio Perez bags maiden F1 win at Sakhir GP
The Mexican driver benefitted from Mercedes AMG Petronas’ George Russel’s tyre issues to claim his first ever Formula 1 victory, with teammate Stroll accompanying him in third place
Sergio Perez' 190th F1 start at the Sakhir GP bore fruit, with the BWT Racing Point driver scoring his maiden F1 victory, besting Mercedes-AMG Petronas' George Russell. Russel, who is Lewis Hamilton’s replacement (while Hamilton recovers from Covid-19), initially looked all set to for a maiden victory on his first outing, having aced the start to lead polesitter Valtteri Bottas for the majority of the race. But Mercedes gave Russell the wrong tyres when he was pitted under a Safety Car on Lap 62 of 87, forcing another pit stop to correct the error. This was compounded by Russell then suffering a puncture which meant he came in a distant P9 at the flag.
Meanwhile, Perez himself had been forced to pit at the end of Lap 1, dropping to last place after getting caught up in a Turn 4 crash that eliminated Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow’s Charles Leclerc and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen. But an incredible turn of pace allowed the Mexican to benefit from Mercedes’ pit error – which also left Valtteri Bottas on old hard tyres, and ultimately a P8 finish – to claim his and Racing Point’s first ever F1 victory.
Perez' victory sees him vindicating his position, bouncing back from last week’s MGU-K failure (electrical issue causing his engine to lose power) at the very same venue to gain the top spot. Renault DP World’s Esteban Ocon came in at the second spot, while Perez’ teammate Lance Stroll rounded off the podium
Note - Russell scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race.
All eyes are now on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the final race of the 2020 F1 season, which will take place at the Yas Marina Circuit on December 10-13.