In another incredible Formula 1 race, Sergio Perez claimed his maiden grand prix victory in the Sakhir Grand Prix after George Russell was denied by a pitstop blunder and puncture.
With the 2020 F1 season continuing to throw up unpredictable races, Perez profited from Mercedes’ mishap and Russell’s misfortune to win for Racing Point ahead of Renault’s Esteban Ocon, who claimed his first F1 podium, with Lance Stroll completing the rostrum.
Russell had looked set to pull off a stunning victory on his Mercedes debut, standing in for Lewis Hamilton who had been ruled out after testing positive for COVID-19, as he led polesitter Valtteri Bottas at the start and through the opening stint.
But a Mercedes radio system glitch caused chaos during a pitstop under a safety car, seeing Russell given the incorrect tyres while Valtteri Bottas had to be fitted with old hard tyres, before the Brit pitted a lap later to be given the correct tyres.
Despite the mistake, Russell made strong progress through the pack to rise back up to second place behind Perez when a slow puncture forced him to pit again.
Perez held his nerve to record victory on his 190th F1 career start to create more history in one of the most erratic seasons in recent history.
In the latest episode of the Autosport podcast, Grand Prix editor Alex Kalinauckas is joined by F1 reporter Luke Smith and Motorsport.com F1 editor Jonathan Noble to review the entire Sakhir GP and the contrasting fortunes of the two standout performers Perez and Russell.
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