Sergio Pérez: “It feels as though my season is properly underway now”

by Paul Hensby

Despite scoring points in both the Belgian and Italian Grand Prix, Sergio Pérez has admitted that neither event were that easy for the Racing Point F1 Team, but it at least felt to him that he has finally got his season underway after a testing opening part of 2019 for the Mexican.

Pérez went eight rounds without a top ten finish between the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in April and the Belgian Grand Prix at the beginning of September before he clinched a sixth-place finish at Spa-Francorchamps, a result he followed up with a seventh-place result at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

The results of the past two events have moved Pérez up to thirteenth in the Drivers’ Championship standings, and he feels the hard work being done back at Racing Point’s factory at Silverstone is beginning to pay off.

“Spa and Monza were not easy weekends, but we scored important points and it feels as though my season is properly underway now,” said Pérez.  “The hard work at the factory is paying off and we are doing a good job at the track too.

“There’s a great feeling in the team just now: a nice atmosphere and excitement about the rest of the year.”

Pérez says he always enjoys racing around the Marina Bay Street Circuit, the venue for this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix, despite the heat and humidity playing a big part in proceedings.  He says it is important to have done the hot weather fitness training in order to be ready for the gruelling near two-hour race on Sunday.

“I always enjoy racing in Singapore,” said the Mexican.  “The city has so much energy and the track is a challenge. It’s physically difficult with the heat and humidity and, because it’s a street circuit, there’s little margin for error.

“When you’re driving, you’re sweating so much. That’s why you need to make sure you’ve done your fitness training in hot conditions too. You need to be ready because it’s hard to breathe sometimes. It’s also the longest race of the year in terms of duration.

“We stay in hotels next to the track and you really feel so close to everything. You walk to the track with the fans and you get to feel the buzz and atmosphere in the city. That makes it quite different from other races too. It’s a great place to have a race and when the sun sets the track looks really beautiful under the lights.”

Pérez feels he has had some good drives in Singapore, with seven top ten finishes in his eight starts there.  His unbroken points run at Marina Bay came to an end in 2018 when he finished sixteenth after contact with Williams Racing’s Sergey Sirotkin and a subsequent penalty for causing the collision ended his chance of a top ten result.

“I’ve had some good drives in Singapore over the years,” admitted Pérez.  “It’s a track layout I like and I have always enjoyed street tracks.

You have to be aggressive and accurate and it’s a track where you can make the difference as a driver.”

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