Sergio Perez arrives at his home Grand Prix in Mexico this weekend full of confidence after a strong run of results, having added a fifth place finish last weekend in the United States to his podium finish two weeks prior in Russia.
The Sahara Force India driver admitted he was not expecting to have the opportunity to race in his home country, but now it is back on the schedule after a twenty-three-year absence, he feels it will be one of the highlights of his career.
“The races in Russia and the United States have been an ideal way to prepare me for the return of my home race,” reflected Perez. “A podium finish and a strong fifth place have given me a lot of confidence ahead of the final part of the season. I think there is more to come from us and I’m really looking forward to the final few races.
“Having the opportunity of driving in my home Grand Prix is something I never thought would happen. It will be one of the highlights of my career and I have no doubt that this race will become a modern classic of Formula One.
“Mexico has a lot of history in motorsport: the fans know the sport; they have a lot of enthusiasm and have been waiting a long time for Formula One to come back. I think everyone will have a great time.”
Perez knows the importance of remaining focused on his racing despite the special feeling of racing in front of his home fans for the first time as a Formula 1 driver, and is looking to secure another strong result for his team.
“Racing in Mexico is, of course, very special for me, but at the same time I should not let this distract me from the fact that it is another race in which I will need to give 100% to bring home a good result,” said Perez. “I am incredibly motivated to work hard with my team to have another race to celebrate.”
Perez had the opportunity to drive the new Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit when it was opened, and feels the changes made since the last time Formula 1 visited the country have not affected the circuit’s character.
“I had the chance to drive a lap of the new track layout recently and it’s a fantastic circuit,” admitted Perez. “There are quite a few changes compared to the old layout when Formula One last raced there, but I don’t think the circuit has lost any of its character.
“The new section in the stadium is spectacular and it will be such an incredible emotion to drive through there for the first time when it’s full of fans. There are a lot of fast sections, but at the same time you have a combination of fast, slow and medium-speed corners that make for a very varied lap.”