Formula One 2021 season finally kicked off on March 28 with a thrilling Bahrain Grand Prix. While Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen were the stars of the show, there was one driver who had an incredibly dramatic race right from the beginning.
Red Bull curse haunts Perez on debut
All eyes were on the Mexican driver who had taken over the cursed Red Bull seat ahead of the new season. After the failures of Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon, the fans were hoping for the fortunes of that seat to change with experienced Sergio Perez in that car. However, much to the disappointment of everyone, it looked like Perez's Red Bull debut race was finished before it started as he stopped on the formation lap.
Driver of the day: Sergio Perez
While Red Bull did sort out the problem, the Mexican driver (who was at P11) was forced to start the race from the pit lane. An early yellow flag allowed the team to put on fresh tyres as Perez got set for a challenging race ahead. From P4 in the 4th lap, the 31-year-old showed his class to the whole racing world.
Perez kept on overtaking brilliantly as he found himself in P6 at lap 38 when he had to box again. Notably, Lance Stroll and Daniel Ricciardo got ahead of him and it wasn't going to be easy for Perez to go ahead of them. However, Perez was on a mission as he blazed past both of them before overtaking Charles Lecrerc to finish at an impressive P5. The Mexican was voted as 'driver of the day' for a racing masterclass he produced considering the way Bahrain GP started for him.
Watch Sergio's breathtaking Red Bull debut here:
With such a strong race on his debut, it will be interesting to see if Sergio Perez can bring some luck to that unfortunate Red Bull seat. If the 31-year-old can repeat such performances on a regular basis, he along with his teammate Max Verstappen are certainly going to give a tough fight to defending champions, Mercedes. The action now shifts from Bahrain to Imola for Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, scheduled on April 18.