Sergio Perez scorched the street circuit in Baku to take third spot behind winner Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel. (Source: AP)
Sergio Perez shook off the gear-box change penalty to claim his and Sahara Force India’s second podium place of the season with a third-place finish at the European Grand Prix while Nico Hulkenberg took the ninth spot, here today.
It is first time that Force India has celebrated two podium places in a single Formula One season.
Perez, who had also finished third in Monaco in May, had to start from the seventh position on the grid despite earning P2 in Saturday’s Qualifying due to a five-place penalty imposed on him owing to a gear box change during FP3.
However, the Mexican scorched the street circuit in the inaugural F1 race in Baku to take third spot behind winner Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
The Mexican also benefitted from Kimi Raikkonen’s late ERS problems and passed him going into Turn 1 on the final lap to take the third place on the podium.
Perez now has four podiums to his credit for Force India. Last year, Perez had claimed third place in Russian Grand Prix while in 2014 he was third in Bahrain Grand Prix.
The best performance for the team remains the one achieved by Giancarlo Fisichella in 2009 when he finished second in the European Grand Prix in Valencia.
Force India collected 17 points from the race to take its tally to impressive 59, further consolidating its fifth position in the constructors standing.
They are still 31 points behind fourth-placed Williams but 27 clear of nearest rival Toro Rosso.
Perez said: “Yesterday, when I hit the wall in qualifying I was very frustrated with myself, but the team did a great job to repair the car.
“And today, after starting from P7, it was a fight all the way. It was very nice to take Kimi on the last lap!”