Bahrain Grand Prix: Sergio Perez shows his class with storming comeback drive

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In the end, Sergio Perez may well look back on his debut race for Red Bull in Bahrain with some element of fondness, with it initially threatening to turn into a nightmare.

The Mexican, joining for 2021 to replace Alex Albon, is tasked with helping his new team take the fight to Mercedes alongside Max Verstappen.

Indeed, Red Bull want him at the front of the grid to help with strategy - something they've not had with the likes of Albon and Pierre Gasly in recent years.

Bucking that trend, though, appeared set to be harder said than done after a qualifying mistake saw Perez ultimately on tyres not good enough to get him into Q3.

Starting 11th, his race then threatened to make his weekend worse as his car came to a shuddering halt on the parade lap.

Indeed, the Mexican has since admitted he nearly got out of the RB16B before his attempts at a reboot eventually paid off, though, he'd now be start from the pit-lane and, thus, 20th out of 20.

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However, whilst in seasons gone by we might have seen a Red Bull driver struggle to get through the field in superior equipment and trip over rivals on track rather than overtake them, Perez underlined his class with a surge through the pack.

A driver who did the same back in Sakhir last year on the short-circuit to claim his maiden victory, winning for the Mexican was out of the question this time around, but he still showed all his guile and race-craft to make a three-stop strategy work, regularly outfoxing those in front of him to make overtakes and, of course, managing the tyres better than most.

For sure, he and Red Bull will want to start from the front in the races to come rather than beginning on the backfoot, but here Perez showed plenty of the reasons he was signed for this season - now he'll be eager to demonstrate more podium-finishing credentials.

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