Thursday, January 27

Netherlands GP: Checo Pérez emerges from the bottom to rescue points for Red Bull in the Netherlands


The car of the Mexican Checo Pérez, this Sunday at the Zandvoort circuit.
The car of the Mexican Checo Pérez, this Sunday at the Zandvoort circuit.Francisco Seco / AP

On Max Verstappen’s big day, which he won at home in the Netherlands Grand Prix, Checo Pérez fought for his pride. The only Latin American driver in Formula 1 started the race from last place and, in a voracious pursuit, the Red Bull driver climbed to eighth place. The fans recognized the Mexican with the award of the pilot of the day.

Pérez had one of his worst rankings this weekend. The Mexican missed the first cut and finished in sixteenth position after running out of time to go back on another fast lap. Red Bull decided to change the power unit to refresh the engine and sent him to the bottom of the classification, at pit lane.

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Checo Pérez had to dedicate himself to taking care of his hard tires to endure a good part of the race and climb positions. The objective was to rescue some point. Pérez tried to pass Russian Nikita Mazepin, although the Haas pilot knew how to block his way. That caused the Mexican to wear one of his tires too much and sent him to change them in the first eleven laps. From lap 11 he managed one of the fastest laps. Until lap 17, Pérez was able to overtake Mazepin and a little later he overtook Williams’s Latifi and Alfa Romeo’s Kubica to climb to 15th place.

The boy from Guadalajara, in predator mode, managed to catch up with Tsunoda to snatch his position on a Zandvoort circuit where he looked difficult to pass. It was the beginning of the Mexican’s performance.

With the exit to pits From the middle of the grid, Pérez climbed to eighth place and the direct battle was with Lando Norris to continue scoring points. On lap 44, Norris had to go out to the garage and the Red Bull driver was already in seventh place, although with 49 laps, the Mexican had to stop again and have new tires on the wheels that brought him down to twelfth place. And to go back again. First he got rid of George Russell and then he ran into a Daniel Ricciardo who was blocking the Mexican. The pilot of the team of the energy drink could do more. “Let’s go! Who’s next? ”, The Mexican launched to the team.

The one that followed was the McLaren that desperately blocked the Mexican, but both cars made contact. Despite the impact, the one from Red Bull continued, reaching ninth position. “That was not very fair,” the Mexican reproached in the audios. In the last lap, Pérez passed over Esteban Ocon to take eighth place.

Checo Pérez has not seen his luck since the Austrian Grand Prix last July, when a series of dangerous maneuvers sent him from third place to sixth. The Mexican has lost places to establish himself as the third best driver of the season with 108 points against Bottas (123) and Norris (114). Right now it’s fifth. The units won by the Mexican, however, keep Red Bull in the fight to win the constructors’ championship.

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