Sergio Perez claims maiden Formulation One win at Sakhir Grand Prix as tire mix-up denies George Russell



It has taken Perez 190 begins earlier than securing victory, which lastly got here in a extremely entertaining race that appeared to be going the way in which of George Russell, one other driver chasing a maiden F1 win.

Russell switched from his traditional Williams to Mercedes after Lewis Hamilton examined optimistic for Covid-19 earlier this week and opened a commanding lead after leaping forward of teammate Valtteri Bottas on the primary flip.

However the 22-year-old needed to pit twice late on — first when his staff knowledgeable him the fallacious set of tires had been placed on his automobile after which once more when he suffered a puncture — to rob him of victory.

Russell’s unhealthy luck was Perez’s achieve. The 30-year-old Perez is with out a staff for subsequent season having introduced in September that he could be leaving Racing Level regardless of signing a three-year contract in 2019.

It proved to be a shocking day for Racing Level, too, with Lance Stroll ending third — the Canadian’s third podium and the staff’s first-ever double podium.

Renault’s Esteban Ocon, in the meantime, positioned second to safe his first-ever podium.

Sergio Perez celebrates his winning his first Grand Prix on Sunday, December 6.

“I am speechless, I hope I am not dreaming,” Perez mentioned after the race.

“Ten years it took me. Unimaginable … I do not know what to say … the luck hasn’t been with us this yr however we have lastly bought it and I believe we gained at the moment on benefit.”

Now dealing with a season with out a staff, Perez is assured he nonetheless has a future within the sport.

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“It simply provides me a bit extra peace with myself, to be sincere,” he mentioned of the win. “What occurs shouldn’t be a lot in my fingers in the mean time, however I do know I wish to maintain going. If I am not within the grid subsequent yr, I will probably be again in 2022.”

Perez sits atop the podium at the Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain on Sunday, December 6.
The victory was much more exceptional given Perez had dropped to the again of the grid after an incident involving Pink Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc on the fourth flip of the primary lap.

Each Verstappen, arguably the pre-race favourite, and Leclerc had been compelled out of the race after the collision, however Perez rallied and shortly began gaining locations by means of the grid.

And when Mercedes selected to pit each Russell and Bottas throughout a security automobile interval, Perez moved into the lead.

George Russell, center, led for much of the Sakhir Grand Prix.

He was beneath strain from a charging Russell within the closing levels, however the puncture price the Briton and noticed him drop to the again of the grid.

In a disappointing race for the normally dominant Mercedes, Russell ultimately completed ninth — his first championship factors in F1 — whereas Bottas completed eighth.

The F1 season, which has already seen Hamilton topped world champion for a seventh time, concludes in Abu Dhabi subsequent weekend.
Romain Grosjean, who escaped his burning automobile after a dramatic crash eventually week’s Bahrain GP, will miss the ultimate race of the season after returning to Switzerland to proceed therapy for burns he sustained.

“For my well being and security, it’s higher I do not take the chance to race in Abu Dhabi,” Grosjean mentioned in a video posted on social media. “It’s a very troublesome determination, however it’s the finest one for my future.”

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