Sergio Pérez believes that the Sahara Force India F1 Team hold good potential for points at the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix.
Force India and Pérez are on a quest to turn around a disappointing start to a 2018 season that has been hampered by issues with the VJM11 regarding correlations between wind tunnel and on-track performance. The Silverstone based team sit seventh in the Constructors’ Championship, with an outside chance of replicating their fourth placed finishes in the 2016 and ’17 championships thanks to Pérez’s third place finish in Azerbaijan.
Pérez managed a podium at the principality in 2016 and says that he is relishing the challenge that Monaco poses.
“I love everything about Monaco. It’s my favourite track and it’s one of the biggest races of the year,” Pérez said.
“I always try to enjoy the week as much as possible. I try to soak up the special atmosphere and make the most of the opportunity to drive on this amazing circuit. I always feel very lucky to be driving in Monaco.
“The reason I like Monaco so much is because it’s not easy. It’s a massive challenge and it’s always a tough race. Every lap you are under pressure. There is no chance to relax. You need to build up your speed, build your confidence and be careful not to overstep the limit. When the car is working well and you have confidence, it’s the best feeling in the world.”
The Mexican – who set the fastest race lap of the 2017 event – added that Qualifying is notoriously crucial in order to take track position. However, Pérez must improve on his stuttering Saturdays, only making it into the final part of Qualifying on two out of a possible five occasions this season.
“Qualifying in Monaco is the most important session of the year. I usually say that qualifying is 99% of the weekend because overtaking on Sunday is very difficult – unless it rains,” he explained. “So there is big pressure on the Saturday and it’s not easy to find space in Q1 when all the cars are on track. It can become a lottery. You rely on your team to help you find some space.”
Difficulties aside, the 28-year-old, regarded as the most underrated driver in Formula 1 team chief Robert Fernley, believes that Force India can score points, suggesting that he may rediscover the form that propelled him to that third place in 2016.
“I’ve had some good results in Monaco, especially the podium two years ago. I always enjoy street circuits and I think it’s another good opportunity for us to score points.”