• Italian Grand Prix

Final stint was 'maximum attack' for Perez

ESPN Staff
September 9, 2012 « Result important for my future - Massa | Vettel disagrees with penalty for Alonso incident »
Sergio Perez secured his third podium finish of the season at Monza © Sutton Images

Sergio Perez said he was on "maximum attack" in the final stint as he climbed up to second place in the Italian Grand Prix.

Having started the race in 12th place on the hard compound tyre, Perez completed a long first stint which left him with 24 laps on lighter fuel on the medium tyres. He eventually finished 4.3 seconds behind race winner Lewis Hamilton after passing Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso on track and Perez said overtaking so many cars made it an exciting race for him.

"It was really enjoyable, one of those races where you have the pace and you are the one attacking," Perez said. "It was a very crucial moment during the race - my first stint - to go that long and to be able to keep the pace was not easy at all; I did quite a lot of laps on those tyres. Then in the second stint we managed to go maximum attack and I was able to have good fighting with some drivers and it was just a great race.

"Kimi is a really fair driver; he only just leaves enough room but not more than needed. It was great, all of the drivers I had fights with they were all leaving enough room and it was a very enjoyable fight with all of them."

Perez admitted that he had been concerned early in the race that his hard tyres would not last long enough to make the strategy work.

"With the prime in the first stint I was a bit worried, especially with the data we had from Friday I was really worried I was getting some degradation from the tyres. So I was a bit worried that suddenly it was going to drop, but once I got on to lap 20 it was looking really good but before that I was in contact with the team every lap trying to say everything was fine. I asked them to stay in contact every lap just in case we needed to change the strategy."

Perez also revealed that he had been suffering with sickness during the weekend but said it didn't affect his performance at any time and that his poor qualifying had actually proven to be a blessing in disguise.

"I don't think we had the pace in qualifying on a single lap to be close to the front row or even to the top five - we were not quick at all, we were lacking too much speed on the straights and that was our problem. I've been sick all weekend, it's been difficult but this didn't affect me at all. Yesterday in qualifying I didn't have a good lap ... maybe top ten was reachable but more than that not. So it helped us in a way to change the strategy, we risked it, I think we were one of the few to go for prime and it worked quite well."

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