Bahrain Progress Showed “We’re definitely in the midfield battle” – Perez

Sergio Perez is seeking his first points of 2018 this weekend
Credit: Sahara Force India F1 Team

Sergio Perez heads into this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix still looking for his first points of the season but believes the opportunity to score a top ten finish last weekend in the Bahrain Grand Prix was ruined thanks to contact with Brendon Hartley on the opening lap that spun him around.

The Sahara Force India F1 Team racer was ultimately classified sixteenth at the Bahrain International Circuit following a post-race penalty for a formation lap offence, but Perez feels the team made progress with their performance last weekend, which was confirmed by team-mate Esteban Ocon scoring their first point of 2018.

“I have mixed feelings after the Bahrain weekend,” said Perez.  “I think we had the potential for a great result, but everything changed after being hit on lap one.

“It’s disappointing to miss out on points, but I still enjoyed the race trying to recover from the back of the field. We made some progress over the weekend and we’re definitely in the midfield battle. We have more updates to test in China and we just need to keep working in the same direction, as we did in Bahrain.”

Perez is full of praise for the passionate Chinese fans who will show their support to all drivers throughout the weekend.

“The Chinese fans are some of the best anywhere in the world,” said Perez.  “You see their passion and feel their enthusiasm.

“They are always waiting at the airport when we arrive and they also wait at our hotel in the evening when we get back from the track. It makes you realise how much they love our sport.”

The Mexican says the opening turn is his favourite part of the Shanghai International Circuit, just because it is unlike any other corner they will face all season, but looking ahead to the weekend, he knows how much the weather can affect things, particularly as it is likely to be colder than the previous two races, and potentially wet.

“As for the circuit, my favourite part is turn one because there is nothing else like it on any other track,” said Perez.  “China is also a race where you are not sure what the weather will do.

“It can be cold in the morning and warm up quickly when the sun comes out. There’s usually a good chance of rain showers at this time of year too.”