Pérez reckons podium finish was possible
22 June 2014 – Sergio Pérez believes that he could have finished on the podium in Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix without his five-place grid penalty.
The Force India driver was hit with the grid drop in the wake of his collision with Williams rival Felipe Massa in Montreal, and the outfit failed in its attempts to get the decision overturned ahead of the event.
Having started 16th, Pérez conducted two lengthy stints on the Soft compound tyre to rise through the field, before finishing the job by passing McLaren's Kevin Magnussen for sixth on the Super Soft tyre.
"Once again we had the pace for the podium, so it was very unfortunate with the penalty," Pérez explained to the gathered media in the paddock.
"To come back from 16th to sixth position shows how strong we were.
"Williams had a podium so we know we have to improve our car, but it's a great result from where we started."
Pérez says one of the most important parts of the race came at the start, when he passed Jenson Button.
"I started on the Primes and got some positions," he explained. "I positioned myself well for Turn 1; Jenson ran wide, which was important, as he was on a similar strategy. That was one of the key moments for me."
Pérez's team-mate, Nico Hülkenberg, finished ninth after losing a place to Daniel Ricciardo on the final lap.