Sergio Perez won a race for the very first time at the 190th attempt and in what could be his penultimate Formula One race as the Mexican took victory in Bahrain.

The Racing Point driver took the chequered flag on an extraordinary evening at the Sakhir Grand Prix ahead of Renault's Esteban Ocon and Racing Point team-mate Lance Stroll.

"I'm speechless," said Perez.

"I hope I'm not dreaming because I have dreamed for so many years of being in this moment.

"Ten years it has taken me to win. Ten years. Incredible. I don't know what to say.

"After the first lap, the race was gone. But it was all about not giving up, recovering, going for it and just making the best of what I possibly could."

Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes stand-in George Russell was in contention for a win but dropped down the order after a puncture in the closings stages of the race.

Russell, temporarily promoted from the Williams team to the fastest Formula One machine in history after Hamilton was struck down with coronavirus, was hunting Perez down and trailed the Mexican by just two seconds before he was forced to stop for new rubber.

Only moments earlier, Russell, a 3000-1 outsider to win here in the desert before Hamilton was sidelined for the first time in his 256-race career, dropped down the order following a Mercedes pit-stop howler.

George Russell suffered a slow puncture while second in the latter stages of the race

The 22-year-old held a commanding five-second lead over team-mate Valtteri Bottas when Mercedes called both of their drivers in for new rubber after a safety car was deployed following a spin by rookie Jack Aitken.

But their was a mix-up among the Mercedes mechanics as they mistakenly put Bottas' tyres on Russell's car.

That meant Russell had to come into the pits again on the following lap dropping him to fifth.

"You should now have a tyre advantage," Russell's race engineer for the weekend, Pete Bonnington told the young Briton. "I f****** hope so," Russell replied.

The safety car pulled in with 19 of the 87 laps remaining and Russell - with the bit between his teeth - wasted no time in moving up the order, passing Bottas, Lance Stroll and Esteban Ocon inside two laps.

He set about chasing Perez, taking more than one second out of the Racing Point man's lead before his puncture. It allowed Perez, who has no guaranteed race seat for 2021, to cruise to a 10-second victory, while Russell eventually crossed the line in ninth, which marks the Englishman's first points of his F1 career.