Sergio Perez: “It’s a real shame to finish outside of the points”

Sergio Perez had a disappointing start to his 2016 Formula 1 season for Sahara Force India when he finished the Australian Grand Prix in thirteenth.

Problems first arose for the Mexican at the start of the Grand Prix when he lost a couple of places off the line. He had pressure from behind and in front from Renault and Williams where they were very difficult to catch.

“It’s a real shame to finish outside of the points,” said Perez. “My problems began at the start: I lost a couple of places off the line and that put me in a very difficult position.

“I spent my first stint behind Alonso, who was on a faster compound, and being stuck in the dirty air destroyed my tyres. Unfortunately there was a very similar situation after the restart because I was passed by Jenson (Button), who was on supersoft tyres, and that cost me a lot of time.

“Sadly the Safety Car and the red flag ruined our strategy, which was to stop only once. When the race restarted we had our work cut out: I had pressure from behind and the Renaults and Williams ahead were very difficult to catch – I got close but couldn’t really attack.”

Perez believes it was not an ideal start for him especially after the good work yesterday to qualify in ninth.

“In the end I had an issue with overheating brakes,” added Perez. “Probably because I spent most of the race in traffic, but we still managed to finish the race. It’s not an ideal start of the season for me, especially after the good work we had done in qualifying yesterday, but we have to keep looking ahead and continue working hard.”