Bahrain Grand Prix: Sergio Perez and Force India revel in podium

Bahrain podium 'amazing' for Perez

Sergio Perez described his third-place finish in the Bahrain Grand Prix as "amazing" as Force India scored their first podium in five years.

Force India, which bought the ex-Jordan and Spyker team ahead of the 2008 season, had previously only scored one podium - in the 2009 Belgian GP.

"This podium is an amazing achievement and one of the most special results in my whole career," said the Mexican.

"It was just an amazing feeling to cross the line."

He added: "This is a massive confidence boost, especially after the very hard season I had last year, and it was the hardest-fought podium I ever had."

The result means Force India are currently second in the constructors' championship with 44 points, while team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, who finished fifth, is third in the drivers' standings.

"It's a great day for the team and I'm very happy for the guys," said the German.

"I held back Ricciardo for as long as I could and I managed to stay ahead of Vettel. It's a great achievement for the team and we've shown once again that we are competitive so hopefully we can keep up the momentum in China."

Britain's Jenson Button, who was racing in his 250th grand prix, completed a disappointing weekend for McLaren, with both cars failing to finish due to clutch problems on his and team-mate Kevin Magnussen's machine.

"Only one team were demonstrably quicker than us today - Mercedes - but sadly they were a lot quicker than us," said Button, who was officially classified as 17th.

"Having said that, our long-run pace was very good, especially over the last few laps, so I reckon we could have raced very hard to the finish on the prime [harder tyres]. But unfortunately I didn't get that opportunity.

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"It's tough for all the team, because they all worked really well and really hard. We were set for fifth place at worst and a podium finish at best, and that would have been a very positive outcome for all of us."

There were mixed emotions from the Red Bull team. Australian Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth, despite starting 13th on the grid, following a 10-place grid penalty, while world champion Sebastian Vettel finished sixth after starting in 10th.

"It was an awesome race; it was exciting," said Ricciardo.

"I think the first stint was a bit follow-the-leader, but from the second stint onwards, the race really started to turn up the heat and there were more battles going on in front and behind - it was good to be a part of them. We got close to the podium today, I think within half a second, so I was doing all I could. "

Vettel, who was ordered by his Red Bull team to let his team-mate pass in the early stages, added: "Daniel proved that there was a little bit more to get from the car today, I couldn't really get to that bit, so I'm not so happy with my day.

"For some reason we seemed to be really slow on the straights, and not just against the Mercedes. They have a stronger package, so there's work ahead of us."

Bahrain Grand Prix results in full

2014 F1 coverage details

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