That is why Perez becomes the tragic hero of Bahrain


( – “I’m losing power,” radioed Sergio Perez four laps before the end of the race in the Bahrain Grand Prix. The Mexican was on the podium at the time. The Mercedes engine in the Racing-Point rear went up in smoke and flames a little later, the next top result slipped through his hands.

Zero points instead of a podium for Perez in Bahrain Zoom

“When I had to park the car, it was a hard blow for me personally,” admitted Perez after the race. He had to let the competition pass him – Alexander Albon inherited third place – and finally park the burning car at the edge of the track.

“But after what happened today, you have to put all of this in perspective. A podium more or less is not important. That became totally irrelevant after the accident. The most important thing today is that Romain is still with us and this accident has survived, “notes the Mexican.

The Haas driver, with whom Perez is friends, escaped a serious fire accident almost unharmed at the start of the race. He admits that it was very difficult to get back in the car after seeing the horror pictures.

“I’m paid by the team, so I want to do my best,” he says. Therefore, after a long break in third place, he started the second start. He was able to hold his own in front of Albon and seemed to take a safe third place.

“We drove a perfect race today and the podium was definitely ours. It would have been one of my best in Formula 1. It was a shame that I had to give up three laps before the end of the race.” The reason for the defect was an electronic problem on the MGU-K unit.

This defect prevented another top result for Perez after his podium in Turkey. Already in Imola he was robbed of a third place due to a strategy failure. Without the problems, the Racing Point driver would have been on the podium for the third time in a row in the desert.

But the zero number throws him in the drivers’ world championship in fifth place behind Daniel Ricciardo, two points are missing from the Renault driver. And it is also a hard blow for the constructors’ championship, Racing Point did not score any points in the night race due to Lance Stroll’s accident.

“We lost very important points today, which makes it more difficult for us in the drivers ‘and constructors’ championships. But there are still two races to go and we will not give up,” he remains optimistic.

Team boss Otmar Szafnauer could hardly believe the bad luck of his team at the command post. He stayed on his chair for a while after the race to assess his emotions. “Checo was cruelly denied a podium after an MGU-K problem forced us to park the car with three laps to go,” he said.

“Up to this point he had driven a flawless race, had the tires perfectly under control and was comfortably in third place.” Szafnauer knows that third place in the Constructors’ Championship will now be more difficult to achieve.

With 154 points, the team is fourth, 17 points behind McLaren and ten in front of Renault. “But there are still two races to go, there are still a lot of points and we know that we have a competitive car. We will do everything we can to regain the points we lost today and take back third place in the championship.”

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