Sergio Pérez emphasised his need for a “strong weekend” at the Brazilian Grand Prix in order to make up for a point-less finish at his home race in Mexico.
Pérez suffered brake failure at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez just under a fortnight ago while running in a positive position, ending a run of points scoring finishes that started at the Russian Grand Prix in late September.
Eager to put his disappointment behind him, Pérez expressed his excitement in returning to race in Brazil with the Racing Point Force India F1 Team.
“Racing in Brazil is always special because it’s the home of my hero, Ayrton Senna,” said Pérez.
“The circuit is filled with history and on race day the fans show so much support. There’s a special atmosphere in the city during race week and we are lucky to visit some amazing restaurants too – I love the food there.”
Speaking about the difficulties that the Autódromo José Carlos Pace poses to a driver, Pérez noted the need to be “precise” throughout the lap, the bumpy and physical nature of the Interlagos circuit prompted the Mexican into drawing vague comparisons to a “karting circuit”.
“Interlagos is a really fun track: a proper Formula One classic,” he added. “It’s a short lap with a good flow but you need to be precise in every corner, otherwise your rhythm is compromised.
“There are many interesting corners but a really important one is the final left hander before the uphill run to the finish line. You need to carry good speed through it and onto the straight in order to attack the first corner going into the next lap.
“The circuit is a real drivers’ track: it’s fun to drive, but it’s pretty bumpy. It reminds me a bit of a karting circuit in some ways,” he continued.
“You need a car that is stable at the rear, with not much understeer, so that you can make the most of all the changes of direction in the middle sector. The weather can also be interesting: it can be very warm and humid and it rains often, and I enjoy this unpredictability.”
Early weather forecasts predict the chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday; the staggered 2016 edition saw Pérez score a very credible fourth place for Force India in tricky conditions. As he looks to close the 12 point gap to former team-mate Nico Hülkenberg and take seventh place in the Drivers’ Championship – or “best of the rest” – Pérez said that a good finish will aid his cause and atone for the missed opportunity in Mexico and lacklustre performance in Austin.
“We had a couple of difficult races in Austin and Mexico, where we didn’t maximise our potential,” Pérez mused. “We’ve missed out on good points, especially in Mexico.
“I’m still aiming to finish as ‘best of the rest’ in the Drivers’ Championship and I need a strong weekend to make up the points we have missed recently.”