Grand prix

Perez relished “intense” F1 duel with Hamilton in Turkey | F1

Perez was running in fourth when Lewis Hamilton made his way up behind him having started the race from 11th on the grid.

Hamilton attempted to overtake Perez at Turn 12, with the pair going side-by-side through the next sequence of corners.

Perez was once again braver on the brakes into Turn 1, maintaining track position over Hamilton.

The battle proved to be crucial in the outcome of the race as Hamilton wasn’t able to get past Perez.

As a result, he decided to remain out on his worn intermediates while Red Bull pit Perez or fresh rubber, ensuring he’d remain ahead when Hamilton stopped or overtake him on track if he didn’t.

“It was pretty intense at that point because Lewis really got me at the worst time of my race today because I was struggling so much with my tyres at that point,” Perez said. “That first stint was so difficult for me, especially towards the end and Lewis was pretty fast. I think at the time he was the fastest car on track, so to hold him back at that point was pretty challenging.

“We had a good fight. Had to even avoid the pit bollard on pit entry, but it was a good fight overall, and managed to stay ahead.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner praised Perez for his robust defence, likening to how Max Verstappen would defend against the seven-time world champion.

“He raced Lewis just as hard as Max does, Horner added. “You can see they are going wheel-to-wheel and he actually ended up in the pitlane, he was the other side of the bollard, Lewis had run him out there and then it’s a drag race down the start-finish straight, and he just stuck with it and made it stick, so a great move by him.”

With the title on the line, Hamilton admitted that he was trying to find a balance when risking overtakes in Turkey, in particular with Yuki Tsunoda.

“With everyone that I come across it’s trying to find a balance,” Hamilton explained. “There was a point I just couldn’t get close enough with him [Tsunoda], then I did, but having to give everyone a lot of space and room as they’re not fighting for the same thing I’m fighting for. “I try and be respectful, give a lot of space, and so far kept out of trouble.”

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