Racing Point’s Sergio Perez believes his Intermediate tyres were just one lap away from exploding at the end of the Turkish Grand Prix.
Perez claimed his first podium result in two and a half years at Istanbul, crossing the line in second place, marginally ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Just one pit stop was made by Perez during the race, when he switched from Extreme Wets to Intermediates on lap 10.
By the time the chequered flag fell 48 laps later, his Intermediate tyres were on the verge of failing, which he could sense through big vibrations.
“A great race, a difficult one, all the way through looking after the tyres, trying to learn the conditions,” Perez said.
“It’s a great result, in hindsight I don’t know if we could have done any better, pitting for a new set at the end.
“In the end we got the result. My tyres were vibrating like hell. I was telling my team on the radio as soon as I crossed the line, one more lap and they explode.
“It was a great race, a great call from the team. Pleased with the result.”
Racing Point looked favourites to win the race early on, with Perez and team-mate Stroll leading the pack by a comfortable margin.
However as the race progressed, Lewis Hamilton fought his way to the front and finished over 30 seconds to the good – leaving Perez to concede that a win wasn’t on the cards for him or Racing Point.
“I think Lewis was extremely strong today. The level he has, he came by easily,” Perez affirmed.
“My mirrors were full of fog, I wasn’t able to see at all in my mirrors. Maybe that’s why I had such a race!
“They [Racing Point] kept me informed about Lewis’ pace and then he just came by. I didn’t expect him to be there, he just passed me and disappeared and controlled the race from there.”