Sergio Perez knew the Formula 1 podium was out of reach in his Spanish Grand Prix pursuit of George Russell for third place.
Recovering from 11th on the grid, Perez ran as high as second before making his first pitstop, scything through the midfield to run in fourth place before Russell pitted on Lap 51 for a new set of Soft tyres at his second stop.
Perez responded and began to carve chunks of time out of the Mercedes, but admitted after his fourth place finish that his race was not with Russell - who secured a first podium of the season behind race-winner Max Verstappen and his own Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton.
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Perez knew podium was off
"It did feel a bit far and I wasn't fighting with George, it was more with Carlos [Sainz], but pretty early on, I could see that George was quite strong," Perez told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"Unfortunately, we finished behind George - Mercedes were actually quite strong today and they had quite a good race pace."
Perez ultimately finished 3.5s behind Russell as Verstappen recorded a Grand Chelem to extend his points lead over the Mexican to 53 points - more than two Grand Prix wins worth with bonus point for fastest lap.
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