Sergio Pérez will return to the BWT Racing Point Formula One Team this weekend after a negative test for coronavirus, with the Mexican returning in place of Nico Hülkenberg.
Hülkenberg had replaced Pérez for the two race weekends at Silverstone following positive tests for the virus and an enforced quarantine period, but he will now step aside for the Mexican for the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
“Firstly, I’m very lucky that I’ve only had mild symptoms, so I’ve been able to keep training and make sure that I’m ready to jump back behind the wheel of the car,” said Pérez. “I’m very glad I had my tablet to keep me entertained too, though!
“I’ve definitely missed racing and it was hard to watch from the outside. I can’t wait to get on track, hopefully this weekend.”
Pérez feels that if a car is fast at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya then it should be quick at any circuit, and it was a positive pre-season test with the RP20 for Racing Point that gives him hope for a strong weekend on his return.
“Barcelona really tests the characteristics of your car,” said Pérez. “If you’re fast in Barcelona, you can be fast anywhere – that’s what makes it such a good place to hold pre-season testing.
“But we obviously have different challenges and conditions on a race weekend compared to testing. It’s also usually where most teams bring upgrades to their cars, so it can also affect relative performance to your rivals.
“I definitely feel the support of the local fans. It’s a great motivator and I’m very grateful for that. They always make me feel at home, too. It’s a shame the fans can’t be there this weekend – but I hope they enjoy following the weekend from home.”
“It’s about extracting every last tenth” – Lance Stroll
Team-mate Lance Stroll says it will be important to get everything from the RP20 this weekend as they look to recover some of the form that they had in the opening three races of the season.
Racing Point struggled for pace at Silverstone compared to the visits to the Red Bull Ring in Austria and the Hungaroring in Hungary, but Stroll is ready to score a good haul of points this weekend in Spain.
“I know Barcelona really well,” said Stroll. “It’s such a great place to visit. The weather is always amazing, the food is incredible, and you’ve got the nice beaches too.
“We obviously won’t be able to explore as we usually do – but hopefully we’ll have some fun on track to make up for it.
“We certainly get plenty of mileage across the weekend and pre-season testing! It’s definitely a familiar circuit and that means everyone will be closely matched in terms of lap time, so it’s about extracting every last tenth from yourself and the package to get a good result.”