Perez grabs ‘Class B’ victory with Grosjean pass
Sergio Perez won Formula 1’s unofficial‘class B’race by finishing seventh after an opportunistic pass on Romain Grosjean’s Haas at a virtual-safety-car restart. Perez’s move came at the chicane at the end of the 41st lap, as he carried a little more speed when the green flags flew and was able to go around the outside of Grosjean into the right/left flick. Grosjean was furious about the overtake, asking how it was possible, but the VSC rules simply dictate how quickly drivers can complete sectors, and Perez was simply sharper at the restart and already carrying more speed when the track went green. Grosjean had started from class pole after a superb qualifying performance, particularly in Q2 when he was the only midfield runner to set his time on softs. That gave him a strategic advantage. With both Toro Rosso drivers, who started behind Grosjean, fading in the race (see page 29), it came down to a battle between Grosjean and the Racing Point Force Indias of Perez and Esteban Ocon. Perez had failed to set a serious lap time in dry conditions in Q3, so started ninth, while Ocon had started 11th after a three-place grid penalty for speeding under the red flag in FP3. The pair ran eighth and ninth early on before undercutting their way past Pierre Gasly, and did have stronger race pace than Haas even though Ocon was unable to get past Grosjean.