Sergio Perez secured the vote for Driver of the Day at the 2023 Azerbaijan GP, as the Mexican took advantage of a safety car pitstop to leapfrog teammate Max Verstappen for the lead.
Once the Red Bull driver took the lead, he was able to keep the reigning champion at bay and out of DRS range to cross the line around two seconds in front.
“It really worked out today for us, we managed to keep the pressure on Max as we had better degradation on that first stint,” Perez told Sky Sports.
“I think it was very close between us, we pushed to the maximum today, we both hit the wall a few times, but we managed to keep him under control.”
Unlucky Safety Car
Verstappen in turn conceded that he had not gotten the rub of the green with the safety car timing, which had cost him a shot at widening the gap to his teammate at the top of the Drivers’ Championship.
“The Safety Car was a bit unlucky, the tyres were overheating and also the balance, I was struggling and once I got that sorted I was quite good again in the last ten laps,” Verstappen said.
“We know it’s a very long season, you keep learning – it can never be perfect all the time.”