Sergio Perez was full of praise for Fernando Alonso after Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix, where the Aston Martin driver pipped the Mexican to the final podium position by a miniscule 0.053s.
Perez enjoyed an excellent weekend at Interlagos where he looked like his old self, much to the delight of Red Bull.
He pulled off some excellent overtaking moves during the race, most notably on championship rival Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.
After overtaking both Mercedes drivers, Perez found himself several seconds behind Alonso.
Perez attempted an undercut when he made his second and final pit-stop, which did reduce the Spaniard’s advantage somewhat.
The Red Bull driver clearly boasted more pace than the two-time World Champion and was able to catch him in the closing phase of the race.
Perez sat behind Alonso for several laps and just tried to figure out how he could make an overtake stick, something which proved incredibly difficult as the 42-year-old was getting an incredible exit out of the penultimate corner on every lap.
Perez finally got an excellent run on Alonso on the penultimate lap and managed to get past, promoting the Mexican into third.
Most expected the Red Bull driver to then clear off; however, Alonso remained right on his gearbox.
Alonso forced a mistake out of Perez at the first corner on the last lap, which compromised his run down into Turn 4.
It allowed Alonso to sweep around the outside and move back onto the podium, in what was the best piece of action from the entire Grand Prix.
Perez ultimately had to settle for fourth, whilst Alonso secured his first rostrum since the Dutch Grand Prix.
Both drivers deserved the podium but it just wasn’t to be for Perez, who was very positive about Alonso after the race and how “very fair” their battle was.
He admitted that there are “very few drivers” on the grid who can battle the way himself and the Aston Martin driver did.
“I have to say well done to Fernando, because it was great fight. Very fair racing,” Pérez said, as reported by ESPN.
“And that’s really good, because how hard we race each other with always a lot of room, I think with very few drivers you can do this on the grid.
“You know that Fernando will always try to play any game, but he will always be fair. It was great racing. I think whoever got the podium was well deserved, and he got it.”