Win answers harsh critics - Perez

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Win answers harsh critics - Perez

Formula 1

Win answers harsh critics - Perez

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Sergio Perez believes criticism he receives could be partly based on his nationality, making his victory in the Singapore Grand Prix an even more special way to answer them.

Max Verstappen had won five straight races to move to within striking distance of the drivers’ championship while Perez had only one podium in six rounds prior to Singapore, but he took his second win of the season with an impressive drive in tricky conditions.

Securing the fourth victory of his career, Perez says it matters more because of some of the focus that has been on his form.

“This win is really special for me, because I’ve had a bit of a rough patch in the last few races,” Perez said. “And I mean, obviously, the media in Formula 1 makes it a lot bigger, maybe because I’m just Mexican and if I’m not on the podium for two races in a row, then I’m having the worst season ever and Red Bull should drop me and all that sort of stuff that you get to see.

“It’s just nice to get that win. And it’s not a reminder to anyone of how good I am, but it’s just always good to be able to put together this sort of performances. Just keep going, we kept working really hard.”

And Perez feels he had the ability to respond to anything Charles Leclerc threw at him on Sunday, but admits George Russell’s slick tire gamble helped Red Bull avoid making a potentially costly mistake.

“It was such a good start, first of all, which really was great. I basically felt that I had the race in the first section, on the inters, under control. I could really do what Charles was doing, and open-up the gap.

“It was important to make sure we had good tire life. I honestly was expecting the track to dry-up earlier than it did. I think if George wasn’t out there, there will be a lot more people going earlier.

“But at the same time, it was such a tricky race. I think the keys to the race was to control the pace on the inter, have good pace when we need it, and the second one was to survive on the slicks in the beginning, because they were extremely poor conditions.

“I think sometimes people, when they’re looking at you, underestimate how hard it is, and how easy it is for us to make a mistake. We basically were going to few places where it was properly damp, properly wet and it was super, super tricky, to make a mistake.

“I had a lot of moments, so first of all, I’m really happy I finished the race. But secondly, to win this race. It’s super special.”

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