And it was. At the start of the penultimate lap, Perez attacked Alonso and overtook him, but he knew he was exposed. “I had little battery left,” explained the Mexican. And that was when Alonso regained the position, on the last lap. Perez even tried to fight back, paired with Alonso, but was 53 thousandths off the podium.
The Mercedes, who dominated the race in Brazil last year, had a terrible weekend, and left without knowing why. A week after being second in Mexico, Lewis Hamilton was only eighth, without pace since the start of the race, and struggling to hold off his rivals with little straight line speed. His teammate, George Russell, was even further back when he had an oil temperature problem and retired.
It would be a great chance for Ferrari to reduce the disadvantage to Mercedes in the constructors’ world championship. But the Italians had a difficult afternoon. Charles Leclerc started in second, had a hydraulic failure in his car on the opening lap, spun, and retired. And Carlos Sainz, who started further back, didn’t have the pace to recover and finished sixth, gaining just two points over Hamilton.