Verstappen and Checo Pérez celebrate after the French GP.YVES HERMAN / Reuters
Checo Pérez begins to get used to the podium.
The Mexican finished third in the French Grand Prix, in a race in which Red Bull beat Mercedes.
Max Verstappen was left with the victory over Lewis Hamilton.
Pérez already masters the red buffalo car.
The new kid's mistakes were left behind.
The Mexican was stronger than Valtteri Bottas in the hypnotic Paul Ricard circuit and now has his twelfth podium in Formula 1.
Checo Pérez had a slow start despite starting from fourth position.
The Red Bull rider had trouble defending his position against Carlos Sainz Jr.'s Ferrari and it was that battle that kept him from directly attacking Valtteri Bottas, third, and began to see him further and further away.
At the top, Max Verstappen went off the track in the middle of the start, leaving everything to Lewis Hamilton.
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It was a direct battle between Red Bull and Mercedes, the championship leaders in Formula 1. While Verstappen escaped Hamilton, Bottas marked his distance against the Mexican. Lap by lap, the Mercedes lost pace. Pit stops are key to Red Bull's strategy: on lap 18 Bottas and Verstappen changed tires. That seemed to be a good sign for Hamilton who also decided to change tires and put Checo Pérez as leader of the race, a guy who knows how to take care of tires.
When Hamilton came out of the
, Verstappen denied him overtaking and the position favored, with that movement, Red Bull.
The positions had turned upside down: Pérez, Verstappen, Hamilton and Bottas.
Checo's lead lasted until lap 24 when he entered the
and fell back to fourth.
In a change of strategy, Verstappen pitted again on
32. It was time to look for more speed.
Pérez, in a gesture of camaraderie and logic at Red Bull, gave him third place in the race without problems.
The Mercedes began to have problems with the tires.
It was time for Red Bull.
In 49, Pérez managed to overtake Bottas thanks to great tire care and, of course, engine power.
The Mexican endured in the end to embitter the Finn.
And Verstappen, in the last two laps, took everything from Hamilton.
End of the game.
Red Bull, for the first time this season, managed to get its two drivers on the podium with first place from Verstappen and third from Checo Pérez.
The Mexican, in addition, also remains in the third position in the drivers' championship above Bottas.
Checo Pérez's podiums in Formula 1
Checo Pérez, 31, has established himself as the best Mexican driver of all time.
He has two victories in Formula 1: 2020 in Shakhir and 2021 in Baku.
In addition to three second places (Malaysia and Italy in 2012, and Turkey in 2020) and seven third places (Canada, in 2012; Bahrain, in 2014; Russia, in 2015, Monaco and Baku in 2016 and 2018 and now in the Grand Prix of France).
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