Sergio Perez: “You can’t afford to be rusty”


Sergio Perez is eager to get the 2016 Formula 1 season underway with the Sahara Force India driver getting ready for this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.

After the long off-season, the Mexican is happy to be going racing once more, and believes the Albert Park track in Melbourne is a perfect place to get the season underway.

“It feels great to be going racing again,” said Perez. “Winter has been long and I have been missing the atmosphere you get from a race weekend.

“Going to Melbourne is a great way to start the year and it’s one of my favourite races. Everyone is very friendly and relaxed and I always enjoy those races close to a big city.”

Twenty-six-year-old Perez, who is about to start his third season with the Silverstone-based team in 2016, is looking forward to the challenge of the Melbourne circuit, and knows any drivers will be punished due to the street circuit nature of the track.

“I’m a big fan of street tracks and Albert Park is a real challenge,” said Perez. “You can’t afford to be rusty because it’s a circuit that doesn’t forgive your mistakes.

“Getting a perfect lap together is quite difficult because it’s quite stop-start. You need to be good on your brakes and strong out of the traction zones. Overtaking is always difficult – even though there are some good spots like turns three and thirteen.”

Despite feeling happy with the team’s performances during pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya, Perez is still not sure enough to place the team’s placing amongst their rivals, although he is hoping of a points finish on Sunday.

“No matter how many laps you do in testing, you never really know where you are compared to the other teams,” insisted Perez. “So I don’t want to say too much.

“As a team we feel quite happy with what we achieved in Barcelona and that’s the main thing. The car has been reliable and we’ve made a good step forward compared to last year. I think we can go to Melbourne knowing that points are achievable.”