Mexico’s Sergio “Checo” Perez finished fifth in an eventful Australian Grand Prix (GP) after a remarkable comeback of more than 10 places. The Red Bull driver had started from 20th place on the grid after his RB19 had several faults during qualifying on April 1 at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne.
Although eight drivers from five different teams (including Ferrari and Mercedes Benz) had to retire from the race, the Jalisco native managed to finish in the top 5 of the final standings and defend his second place in the World Drivers’ Championship against Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) – although this also meant a 15-point gap to his teammate and current champion, Max Verstappen.
Despite this, Perez was upbeat on his social media with the result to which he pointed to “a good recovery” and “damage minimization” for the Austrian team, which remains at the top of the Constructors’ Championship.
What a crazy race! In the end we had a good recovery and managed to minimize the damage from a very frustrating Saturday. Good result for the team in the end.Checo Perez
The Australian GP transcended the inconveniences presented from start to finish of the race: a couple of red flags, Safety Cars and problems in the single-seaters, and some accidents added nervousness and stress to the third stage of Formula 1 (F1) 2023.
It was a few minutes after the green lights marked the start of the race when Charles Leclerc(Ferrari) skidded into the gravel, causing his early exit from the Albert Park circuit and the entry of the first Safety Car.
By then, the English Mercedes Benz duo, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were defending the first two positions (with the latter in the lead) from Dutchman Verstappen. However, an early pit entry of Russell took away the lead of the competition, with difficulty in recovering it due to the entry of a second Safety Car and a subsequent first red flag for the incident of Alex Albon (Williams).