Despite being a circuit with a decidedly mixed reputation among the drivers, Sergio Perez has spoken of his appreciation of the Yas Marina circuit ahead of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
““I enjoy driving at Yas Marina. It’s a track where we’ve been strong for the last few years and I would love to end the year on a high with a strong result.
““There are some interesting corner combinations at Yas Marina and it’s a track that is hard on braking, with a lot of emphasis on traction. There are overtaking opportunities at the end of the long straights so you often find yourself either attacking or defending, especially towards the end of the race.”
The circuit has historically come in for criticism due to a large number of slow and off-camber corners, and came under scrutiny again in 2010 when the limited overtaking opportunities on offer resulted in Ferrari‘s Fernando Alonso becoming stuck behind the slower Renault of Vitaly Petrov, ultimately denying the Spaniard the title.
It has been a historically strong circuit for Perez. The Mexican has scored points in Abu Dhabi every year since 2013 and produced a terrific performance in 2015 when he qualified his Force India in fourth (having been third, and best-of-the-rest behind the dominant Mercedes in Q2), en-route to a lofty fifth come Sunday.
For Sergio, the weekend promises both to be a more relaxed event for a squad already confirmed in fourth in the constructors’, but also a farewell outing for such a successful car: “The final race is always a strange feeling because it’s your last opportunity to drive the VJM10 and you don’t know what next year will bring. We don’t have any pressure because fourth place in the championship is confirmed so I can focus on simply enjoying the experience and getting the best result possible.
“As a team we can be satisfied with our season. Finishing fourth is the best we could achieve and, on a personal level, finishing just behind the top six drivers makes me feel proud. We just need to make sure we deliver this weekend and end the season well.”