Red Bull’s Perez endures bittersweet Las Vegas GP podium finish
Finishing the race at all was a win for the driver, who pitted on the opening lap after colliding with Valtteri Bottas
Sergio Perez was disappointed to have second place snatched away from him in the final lap of Saturday's Las Vegas Grand Prix by Charles Leclerc, but the Mexican will take consolation in his rise to second in the overall drivers standings.
Ferrari's Leclerc overtook Perez at turn 14 in the action-packed inaugural race's final lap to grab second, with Perez's Red Bull team mate Max Verstappen storming to his 18th victory of the season.
Finishing the race at all was a win for Perez, who pitted on the opening lap after colliding with Valtteri Bottas in the turn 1 bottleneck, damaging his front wing.
"It started really difficult with a lot of damage," Perez said.
"Initially we broke the front wing, so we basically went all the way to the back of the grid. Then progressively we were passing one-by-one and things were going well.
"We had really strong pace on that first stint, so we put ourselves back in contention. Then with the safety car, that brought us into the race."
Perez said the race, which had been critiqued by some as too disruptive to the bustling city and lacking in drama, given Verstappen had already secured the season crown, was a success.
"It was good for racing," he said.
"It was not easy to pull away from the people behind. It's a little like Baku, being the lead car makes life a little bit harder for you out there. So I think it did deliver."
The F1 season shifts to its final event of the year with the November 24 to 26 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
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