Pérez: I could have beaten Massa, Alonso
13 November 2017 – Sergio Pérez is adamant that he could have beaten Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso to seventh in the Brazilian Grand Prix, had he not been forced wide on the first lap.
Pérez, who started fifth, was squeezed onto the kerb by Alonso through the right-hand element of the Senna 'S' and put two wheels on the grass, which enabled Massa to jump past.
He extended his first stint on Super Softs in a bid to make up lost ground, but despite closing back in on Alonso and Massa, and attacking in the final laps, he could not overtake.
Massa crossed the line half a second clear of Alonso, with Pérez just a tenth further back, and the Force India drivers reckons he needed one more lap to reclaim at least one of the spots.
"Things got quite complicated on lap one," said Pérez, who ended up ninth, with Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo clearing the group on their recoveries to fourth and sixth respectively.
"Alonso pushed me wide at Turn 2. I was on the grass and lost another position to Massa. That was very costly for my race because I spent the whole afternoon trying to recover.
"We certainly had the pace to finish in seventh, but the very high track temperatures made things difficult because as soon as you tried to attack you suffered with massive tyre degradation.
"We tried to change our strategy to overcome things, but it wasn't enough to recover the seventh place.
"In the final few laps I was very close to Massa and Alonso. Massa was quick in the final sector, while Alonso was fast through sector two and had the benefit of DRS to help him defend down the straights.
"Maybe if there had been one more lap it would have been enough to overtake them.
"Considering the way things unfolded, I'm happy with the result, but not totally satisfied."
Pérez's team-mate, Esteban Ocon, retired on the opening lap of the race after being taken out by Romain Grosjean, who claimed that a puncture caused the collision.