Sergio Perez: “I expect us to be competitive this weekend”


Credit: Sahara Force India Formula 1 Team

Sergio Perez expects Sahara Force India to be competitive at the Austrian Grand Prix this weekend on the back of his podium at the European Grand Prix.

The Mexican finished the Grand Prix at the Baku City Circuit in third, achieving his second podium of the 2016 Formula 1 season. He initially qualified second but started the Grand Prix from seventh after he received a five place grid penalty for changing his gearbox. Perez drove very strong throughout and even managed to fend of world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Perez believes the Silverstone-based outfit have made a lot of progress with the car since the race in Barcelona earlier this season and he expects the team to be competitive at the Red Bull Ring this weekend.

“I am still smiling about the podium we scored in Baku,” said Perez. “It was an amazing weekend for us.

“We got the calls right; we executed our race plan perfectly and we finished in the top three on merit. I feel very proud of my team and I think it was one of my most competitive races in Formula One. It wasn’t a completely smooth weekend with the gearbox penalty pushing us backwards on the grid, but we were able to overcome the difficulties, which made it an even sweeter result.

“I travel to Austria on a high and determined to deliver another strong result. This race is one of my favourites because the track is nice to drive and I enjoy the atmosphere with the fans camping around the circuit. There are lots of elevation changes and some challenging corners: you cannot make mistakes in any of them or it will cost you a lot of time on the straights. It’s also a short lap so the gaps between the cars are always very small and that makes for a very tight grid.

“We’ve made a lot of progress with the car since Barcelona and I expect us to be competitive this weekend. There are a few decent overtaking opportunities, especially the big braking zone at turn two, so there should be some good action in the race.”