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Perez overcomes "undriveable" Red Bull to land podium in France

Perez overcomes "undriveable" Red Bull to land podium in France

F1 News

Perez overcomes "undriveable" Red Bull to land podium in France

Perez overcomes "undriveable" Red Bull to land podium in France

Sergio Perez was forced to overcome an "undriveable" Red Bull in the early stages of the French Grand Prix to land a podium finish.

Perez backed up his victory in Azerbaijan last time out by maximising his ability to extract the most from the Pirelli tyres to finish third at the Paul Ricard Circuit.

With Max Verstappen claiming victory ahead of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, it ensured Red Bull scored its first double podium of the season to open up a 37-point lead in the constructors' championship.

After starting fourth, Perez initially dropped off the tail of the leaders in the opening laps but recovered late on to pass Valtteri Bottas and secure his second appearance on the podium for Red Bull.

"The first five to 10 laps the car was pretty much undriveable with the wind," said the Mexican.

"We obviously ran less downforce so it was really hard to keep up behind but then probably as the wind was getting calmer and the track was getting better, I started to pick up my rhythm.

"We managed to go quite long on the first stint and that really paid off towards the end."

Perez felt degradation was higher than expected

With 20 laps remaining, Red Bull pitted Verstappen for a second time, with the two Mercedes drivers also reporting their tyres would not last to the end of the race.

Red Bull and Verstappen had earlier pulled off the undercut on Hamilton in the first round of stops, but Mercedes missed its chance to switch to a two-stop strategy and attempt a similar tactic.

Perez, though, had run long with his first stint, allowing him to attack Bottas late on and propel him into the top three.

"The deg was quite a lot higher than expected," added Perez.

"As a whole we did a great race with a strategy for the team. I'm happy that we won the race and good points for the team."

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