Red Bull Racing achieved a brillant double podium at the wet Turkish Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen regaining the championship lead in second and Sergio Pérez in third at the Intercity Istanbul Park Circuit.
It was an excellent Sunday for Red Bull at a track where the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team had been strongest all weekend. Verstappen excellently converted his second place start into a second place finish, and regain the Drivers’ Championship lead by a slim six points from Lewis Hamilton. The Dutchman had an uneventful race unlike his team-mate.
Pérez made a strong start from sixth and was fourth by the second corner, from then on he spent a good number of laps unchallenged from behind. This all changed when the recovering Hamilton caught up with the Mexican after starting eleventh, the pair had a great fight from Turn 12 to Turn 2, with the Mexican doing well to come out on top.
In the second stint Pérez got the better of Charles Leclerc and moved up to his finishing position of third, Pérez pitted before Leclerc and was able to get his Intermediate tyres into a better window before the Scuderia Ferrari driver.
Team Principal Christian Horner is very happy with the double podium and is especially pleased that Pérez took the fight to Hamilton.
“A double podium for us was a great result to come away with this weekend. Max has regained the lead in the drivers’ championship at a track that has traditionally been strong for Mercedes, we limited the damage and it was a great team job with lots of constructor points, so we’ll keep fighting. The lead for the championship keeps changing hands and the rest of the year is going to be incredibly tight, we have some big races coming up and it’s good to be putting Mercedes under pressure.
“For us the crucial moment today was when to pit Checo, we could have kept him out to keep holding up Lewis, but we decided to pit him because we didn’t believe Hamilton’s tyres were going to make it to the end of the race. Checo did an amazing job today, he raced Lewis just as hard as Max does. He went wheel to wheel with him and he actually ended up in the pit lane when Lewis ran him out there, and then it was a drag race down the start-finish straight and he just stuck with it.
“The next race in Austin has been a Hamilton strong hold so we are going to have to be at the very top of our game, it’s great to be in this fight and the whole team is really enjoying it.”