Sergio Perez celebrates his Monaco Grand Prix win with his Red Bull Racing team. The Mexican held talks with his bosses after he was asked to move over in Spain to allow Max Verstappen to win.
Taking his third career victory and second for the Tilbrook team since joining in 2021, Perez became the most successful Mexican racer of all time, taking over from Pedro Rodriguez who Perez was wearing a tribute helmet in honour of in Monte Carlo.
After feeling robbed of a win last time out at the Spanish Grand Prix, Perez had discussions with his team to clarify his position alongside Max Verstappen, who he was ordered to let through in Barcelona to win the race.
Arriving in the Principality though, Perez had the number of his world champion team-mate all weekend but it looked like the efforts would be futile after the Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jnr locked out the front row on the notoriously tight streets.
Rainfall before the start though would cause chaos, delaying the race and forcing everyone onto wet tyres on a drying track. As the field switched to inters and then dry tyres, Perez jumped Sainz and Leclerc when Red Bull double-stacked their drivers, with Verstappen splitting the pair in third.
A scary crash for Mick Schumacher forced a red flag, but with overtakes almost impossible, Perez was able to hold off Sainz in the final half-an-hour of the race to claim victory.
It’s a win that keeps him in the title hunt too, just 15 points from pace-setter Verstappen, who in turn extended his lead over Leclerc.
“Once I heard my national anthem on the podium here it hit me,” said Perez. “It is a dream come true for any driver in the world to tick that box in Monaco and I can just be extremely happy.
“We were quick all weekend, we kept our heads down and knew today with the right strategy we could make things happen.
“This win was for my mum and all my family, she was very sick last week so I had very good motivation going into this race to get her a victory.
“It’s been an incredible day, I am super happy for the whole team and I hope my country are proud too. You don’t win Monaco many times in your life so the first one is very special.”
Verstappen added: “Of course finishing third for me is not ideal but I wasn’t able to improve my lap time yesterday so that’s just how it goes.
“In the heat of the battle and with the hectic start, we stayed calm as a team, we made good decisions. The strategy paid off with Checo winning so that was the biggest positive of the day.
“I’m really proud of the team effort this weekend and to get two cars onto the podium.”