Perez grabs ‘Class B’ vic­tory with Gros­jean pass

Autosport (UK) - - RACE CENTRE -

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.

HONE/LAT

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