Sergio Perez clinched third at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, securing second in the 2023 drivers’ championship. Despite a challenging start from 11th and early damage, Perez fought back to claim his first podium since Monza. However, Charles Leclerc’s last-lap maneuver denied him a second-place finish.
Catch up quick:
- Perez recovered from an 11th place start and early front wing damage to finish third in Las Vegas.
- A strategic pit stop under a full safety car played a crucial role in Perez’s podium finish.
- Leclerc’s unexpected late-braking on the final lap snatched second place from Perez.
- This podium secures Perez’s runner-up position in the championship, with Red Bull taking the top two spots for the first time.
Sergio Perez’s Las Vegas Grand Prix was a rollercoaster of incidents and strategy. Starting from a disappointing 11th place due to a timing error in Q2, Perez’s race seemed compromised from the outset. An opening lap collision forced an early pit stop, but this setback inadvertently set the stage for a remarkable comeback.
With a damaged front wing, Perez was at the back of the grid, yet he managed to claw his way through the field. His perseverance paid off when a full safety car allowed him to pit without losing much ground, catapulting him to second place.
Perez’s pace was formidable, yet his car setup, with a bit too much wing, hindered his straight-line speed. This factor made it difficult to distance himself from his rivals, reminiscent of the challenges faced at circuits like Baku.
As the race unfolded, a Red Bull one-two seemed likely, with Verstappen leading and Perez in a strong position. However, Leclerc’s relentless pursuit and a daring final lap overtake caught Perez off guard, relegating him to third.
Despite the surprise, Perez’s third-place finish was sufficient to confirm his runner-up status in the drivers’ championship, a testament to his consistency throughout the season. This result also marks a historic moment for Red Bull, as they secure the top two championship positions for the first time.
Reflecting on the race, Perez acknowledged the initial difficulties but praised the event’s recovery from the FP1 water valve cover incident. The race’s competitiveness and the outcome proved satisfactory for the Mexican driver, despite the last-lap twist.
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