Perez: Nothing I could do to keep Max at bay

© XPB 

Sergio Perez says “it's a shame” to miss out on a podium at the Brazilian Grand Prix but the Force India racer admits there was nothing he could do to keep Max Verstappen at bay.

Having delivered another steady and error-free race in difficult weather conditions, Perez was on course for a third top-three finish this year after Monaco and Baku when he was overhauled by the charging Red Bull on the penultimate lap at Interlagos.

“What a fun but tense race!” the Mexican said. “It’s a shame to lose a podium place in the last two laps, but Max just had a different pace: he was the fastest on track and there was nothing I could do to keep him behind.

“Even though I am a bit disappointed, we can still celebrate a great race and an incredible result, especially considering the conditions we had out there today. Just getting to the finish line on a day like this feels like a victory, and to bring home fourth is a very important result.”

Added to team-mate Nico Hulkenberg’s seventh place, Force India picks up a crucial 18 points in a wild, red-flagged race where its rivals Williams did not score.

“It was so easy to make mistakes,” Perez added. “You risked aquaplaning at any moment – every time I crossed the finish line I had a breath of relief.

“It’s a big result, not only for me, but also for the team as it brings us important points for the battle for fourth place. A lot can still happen in Abu Dhabi, but we can be happy about this result.”

Force India heads to the season final at Yas Marina Circuit with a comfortable 27-point cushion over Williams in the fight for fourth in the Constructors’ championship.

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