A jubilant Sergio Perez admitted he and Red Bull made their Monaco Grand Prix more difficult than it had needed to be, despite claiming victory.
Red Bull’s Perez claimed his maiden win on the streets of Monte Carlo, his third career F1 victory and first of the 2022 season, coming home ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and his Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen.
Having had the legs on his World Champion team-mate throughout the weekend, Perez’s victory puts him just 15 points off the championship lead and helps Red Bull solidify their lead in the Constructors’ Championship.
Having won the illustrious race, one of motorsport’s most prized accolades, Perez beamed as he spoke to the media afterwards.
“It’s a dream come true,” he said.
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“As a driver, you dream of winning here. After your home race, there is no more special weekend to win. To do it, and the way we did it…we just made it a bit harder for ourselves at the end.”
It had not all been plain sailing for Perez, despite taking the lead through the intermediate-to-dry tyre changes. When the race resumed green flag conditions after the mid-race stoppage, Perez locked up into Mirabeau and put a minor flat spot on his left front medium Pirelli – ensuring he was struggling for grip by the chequered flag.
“With the graining I had, to not make any mistake and bring it home, keeping Carlos behind, wasn’t easy,” Perez said, explaining he could feel the lack of grip as the laps ticked away.
“I think I should have managed them a little bit better,” he admitted. “In hindsight, I could have managed them a bit better.”
With the mediums needing to handle a 45-minute stint due to the time-affected race, Red Bull had faced an uphill task given Ferrari had opted for the hard compound. But Perez backed Red Bull’s tyre compound choice.
“I think it was the right call,” he said. “I still had good traction, I never felt at risk that much, but it was important to keep on track.
“We probably complicated the race more than we needed to and then, towards the end, I felt like it (the graining) cleared up a bit and I was able to get some good laps in.”
With Perez becoming the most successful Mexican driver in F1’s history, he beamed with pride about his achievement for Mexico.
“I was super-excited,” he said. “It’s a massive day for myself and my country. I’m very happy.
“I was running a helmet for Pedro Rodriguez today and I’m sure he would be super-proud of what we’ve achieved together in the sport.”