Sergio Perez is looking forward to his first drive at the Canadian Grand Prix next weekend – a race that holds very special memories for his Sauber team.
The Mexican missed out on the race last year, when the after-effects of his Monaco accident prevented him from competing in anything more than Free Practice 1 on the Friday morning.
It was back in 2008 when Robert Kubica led a BMW Sauber 1-2 with Nick Heidfeld, as the Pole claimed his – and Sauber‘s – one and only grand prix victory.
The current Sauber C31 may not have been battling at the front of the field last time out in Monaco – in fact, neither Perez nor Kamui Kobayashi scored any points – but it was the fastest car on track for long periods of the race, and the team could well get a good haul of points next weekend in Canada.
“It will be my first Canadian Grand Prix, as last year I only did a few laps in the first free practice before I realised I did not feel well enough to drive,” recalls Perez, who was then replaced by Pedro de la Rosa for that weekend. “I felt very dizzy in the car which was a consequence of last year's Monaco accident.
“I think at times in recent races we have been very unlucky, but the pace is there as my lap times during the Monaco race clearly proved. I'm looking forward to doing a good job in Canada and scoring as many points as possible. It is a fast and fluid circuit on which you are often close to the wall – challenging and exciting.”
Kobayashi finished seventh last year in Montreal, and is hoping for a better result this season. He thinks Sauber have the car to do this.
“At the circuit in Montreal there are long straights but also slow corners,” he explains. “I think our car seems to be okay for this. I hope there we can have the performance we want to see.
“Last year I was second on the grid for the re-start after the red flag for the wet conditions, but then we suffered with tyre warm up problems and I am sure we have definitely improved on that with this year's car. We shall have to see what we can do, but I think Montreal is one of the places where we can be strong. In case it is cold there, a key will be how the tyres work.
“I really like the city and the track, although, unfortunately, I have never had a great result there. This year I want to make up for this. Our car is getting better and I'm looking forward to the Canadian Grand Prix.”