Sergio Perez: “It’s going to be tight to be best of the rest”

Credit: Sahara Force India F1 Team

Sergio Perez finished inside the top ten in the afternoon session at the Circuit of The Americas on Friday, just 0.009 seconds ahead of team-mate Esteban Ocon, having finished behind the Frenchman in the mixed conditions of the morning session.

The Sahara Force India F1 Team driver felt it was a good first day in the United States, and although the midfield pack appear to be close, the Mexican still hopes that the Silverstone-based team can be best of the rest behind the three leading teams this weekend.

“We can be quite happy about today’s work,” said Perez. “We gathered a lot of data and we’re in a good place for the rest of the weekend, even if I wasn’t overly convinced about the development tyres we tried this morning.

“It’s going to be tight to be best of the rest, but I am confident we can do that: the car has been feeling good, especially in hotter conditions, so we have a good base to build on.”

Team-mate Ocon finished tenth fastest, and the Frenchman admitted finding the best set-up and the best balance on his VJM10 was much trickier than he found it in the past two races in Malaysia and Japan, and as a result he heads into Saturday still with work to do.

“It was a positive day overall, testing different things on the car and working towards the ideal set-up,” said Ocon. “Finding the balance hasn’t been as immediate and easy as it was in Malaysia and Suzuka, so we still have a little bit of work to do, but we are getting closer to where I want it to be.

“I have no doubt it will be much better tomorrow. We still need to find something in the slow-speed corners and that’s where we will concentrate this evening.”

Esteban Ocon felt it was trickier to get the set-up right in Austin that it was at Sepang or Suzuka – Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd