Sergio Pérez believes Racing Point Force India’s recent form will carry over into this weekend’s Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, with the Mexican expecting a strong weekend for the team.
Just before the summer break in July, the team was placed into administration, owing monies to creditors including engine supplier, Mercedes.
A consortium led by Lawrence Stroll, the father of Williams driver Lance, took over ownership of the Silverstone based outfit.
This allowed the team to finally bring a substantial upgrade package to the car that had been in development, but due to the financial issues under the previous ownership, could not be completed and brought to the car.
The layout of the Circuit of the Americas, in Texas, demands a good balance between straight-line speed through the middle sector of the lap, and high and low-speed grip through the fast-sweeping sector and slower more twisty final sector, and Pérez believes the Force India package can adapt to the demands placed on it.
“The circuit layout has a bit of everything so a balanced set-up is the key to doing well,” he explained. “There are slow and fast corners, tough braking zones and you need a car that you can trust.
“We have had this kind of great balance in the last few races, so I think we can be competitive and pick up some good points.
“The circuit is very enjoyable. It’s very interesting and has some very challenging parts, especially the first sector. Turn 1 is really unusual and it is the corner I enjoy the most: it’s very hard to pick your braking point and not miss the blind apex,” he explained. “The esses that follow make this sector really fun to drive.”
Similar to a home race for Pérez
Before F1 returned to Mexico in 2015, the nearest grand prix for fans to travel to was the race at Austin to support Pérez. As such, he regarded “Austin [as] my home race.”
“All weekend long you can see plenty of Mexican fans and you feel all their love and support,” he said. “It makes it a really special weekend for me and I also have my family and friends there as well, so it really is like the perfect race.”
Pérez’s best result in the United States is a fifth-place finish which he achieved in the wet/dry 2015 race. He finished in eighth-place a year later, before going onto match that in ’17.
Since the Belgian Grand Prix, the team’s first under the Racing Point moniker, drivers Pérez and Esteban Ocon have accrued 43 points, enough to sit in seventh place in the constructors’, with the former scoring a ‘Class B’ victory by finishing seventh in the Japanese Grand Prix.