Czech Perez increased his legend in the Formula One. The Mexican climbed 13 positions to finish third in the Las Vegas Grand Prix above Lewis Hamilton and finally, after much suffering in the second half of the season, he secured the runner-up position for drivers in the premier class for the first time in his career with one race remaining. The highest step he has achieved since he has been racing in the big circus since 2011.
The race in “sin city” was round for Red Bullwith the victory of Max Verstappen and 1-3 together with Sergio Pérez. The Austrian team made sure to win the drivers’ championship, the constructors’ championship and even the runner-up thanks to the Mexican. Absolutely everything.
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The task was not easy for the man from Guadalajara. Only in the first lap, Fernando Alonso was involved in a spin that caused a multiple collision between Perez, Carlos Sainz, Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton.
The Mexican had to go into the pits in an emergency to change the wing and make a comeback. As he is accustomed to the fans of him, he started from the 16th step. Sainz, Nico Hulkenberg, Kevin Magnussen and Guanyu Zhou were his first victims.
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Local driver Logan Sargeant followed and for a moment had a direct fight with Lewis Hamilton for seventh place on lap 17, but the seven-time world champion suffered a collision with a cone that punctured his tire and had to pit. First key moment that benefited the Mexican.
The second, curiously, was caused by Max Verstappen. In a kind of indirect assistance, the Dutchman passed George Russell but in the maneuver the Mercedes driver hit the Red Bull driver and the Safety Car appeared due to the debris on the track.
“Checo” took advantage of the moment to change to new hard tires until the final stretch and with the help of DRS he beat Charles Leclerc for the lead, although finally Max Verstappen appeared to devour both in a couple of laps.
In the final stretch of the race, the Ferrari driver managed to take the position from Pérez, but later he overdid it while braking and “Checo” took advantage of the opportunity. However, Leclerc used DRS on the final straight before crossing the finish line and finally took second place from the Mexican.
Sergio Pérez won 15 points, bringing his total to 273, while Lewis Hamilton, who finished eighth, reached 232. With only 26 points available in the last race in Abu Dhabi, the Mexican made history and became runner-up in the Formula One. With which he surpassed his performance in 2022, when he finished third.
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In addition, “Checo” ended a streak of six races without being on the podium, since the second place achieved in the Italian Grand Prix.
Note originally published in THIS