Pérez overjoyed with podium after 'tough' 2013
6 April 2014 – Sergio Pérez described as "very special" his podium finish during Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix, in the wake of a trying 2013 campaign.
The Mexican joined Force India after just one season with McLaren, during which time he failed to live up to the team's expectations.
And despite a difficult start with his new outfit, Pérez turned it around at the Sakhir circuit to qualify in the top five and progress to the rostrum.
"It means a lot. It is a very special podium for me," Pérez explained after stepping out of the car. "I had a really tough time at McLaren where I was basically far away and didn't have a chance to fight for the podium.
"When I joined McLaren it was a very fast team, the fastest team there. When the option came to me I didn't think twice. I was hoping to fight for the title and win races. But it was really tough, more than people realise.
"It was not easy for me to fight for a podium, so to do it here in this race is a great feeling."
Pérez was even more delighted with the result given the fact that the late Safety Car period left him slightly exposed on the Prime rubber, with a selection of rivals behind having switched to the faster, Soft compound.
"We were at a big disadvantage compared to the people behind," he said. "The Safety Car made things really hard. I was looking quite comfortable before that, but once it came it was difficult to switch the Prime tyre on.
"I tried my best to keep my position. We had a Red Bull that was quick but we managed to stay ahead."
In the sister Force India, Nico Hülkenberg charged through from 11th to fifth, providing the team with enough points to leapfrog Williams, Ferrari and Ferrari and move up to second in the Constructors' standings.