Perez delivers points again in Baku after 'demanding but fantastic' day


Sergio Perez's upheld his profitable track record in Baku, the Racing Point charger bringing home a sixth-place finish to his team after a "demanding" but spirited Sunday drive.

Perez was prompt to blast off the grid when the lights went out, edging Max Verstappen for fourth into Turn 1.

The Mexican struggled however to keep the Red Bull driver behind, eventually yielding to the Dutchman's pressure.

After a switch from softs to medium tyres, Perez fell into the clutches of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz but opposed a fierce resistance to the McLaren duo all the way to the checkered flag.

"It's been a fantastic day," said Perez.

"It was looking great at the start when I overtook Verstappen, but then very early on we saw where our pace was and it was more about beating those McLarens that were very strong today.

"It was a very demanding race from my side because I spent basically the whole race on the limit fighting those temperatures.

"I struggled quite a lot on the first stint but luckily we got good points for the team and it's been a fantastic day for us."

Perez's top-six finish was nicely complemented with an equally energetic drive from Lance Stroll, another man whom Baku has treated well in the past.

After a mishap in FP2 cost him mileage on Friday, the Canadian kept himself out of trouble in the early stages of the race, but then fought his way up into the top-ten, taking advantage of a few retirements up ahead.

"This is a track that has no margin for error, keeping concentration was a key factor and that is what we did today," said Stroll.

"It was fun; we overtook cars on track and brought the car home in P9.

"We were fortunate with the contact between Kvyat and Ricciardo because we picked up a couple of places there, then we overtook a few more cars on track, but the car felt good throughout the race.

"I am really happy with where we are right now, fighting for points at every race but there’s no doubt that it’s very tight in the midfield and we are going to have to keep pushing."

Looking ahead, Perez stressed the importance of the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, a venue that usually sets the pecking order for the rest of the season.

"It's a very important weekend for us," insisted the Mexican.

"It gives you a good reference of how your year is going to look. We are very optimistic that we will pick up good grip and we can aim to be a lot higher up."


Racing Point is currently fifth in the Constructors' standings but Stroll, like Perez, is convinced the pink outfit can wrestle back its former 'best of the rest' position in the championship.

"We're aiming for a big result this season," added Stroll.

"It's early days but every point is critical, and today was a great example of that.

"Both cars are in the points, it's a big jump for the team and we're going to have to see more of that over the year."

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