Sergio Pérez has good memories of his Italian Grand Prix performance from 2019, and he hopes to be able to bring some more points home for the BWT Racing Point Formula One Team this year at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.
The Mexican started at the back of the field twelve months ago but fought his way through to seventh place at the chequered flag, but he felt they made the most of the situation and scored good points against the odds.
“It was definitely a good race!” said Pérez. “It was also a tricky one and we honestly weren’t expecting great things – but the team did a fantastic job and we had a really strong result.
“I had a great start too, which helped us make the most of the situation and we collected good points. Hopefully we can collect more this weekend.”
Monza will see the lowest downforce levels of the season on all of the cars, and for Pérez it puts him on the very edge of what a Formula 1 can do at high speeds.
The ‘Temple of Speed’ is an unique challenge for all, and the Mexican is ready for the weekend, even if it will be strange to be racing in Italy without the beloved Tifosi due to the restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“On the straights it feels really light and you can feel that you’re right at the edge of what a Formula 1 car can do at high speeds,” said the Mexican. “It’s part of what makes Monza such a unique challenge.
“It’s also great to drive at a circuit with such history and atmosphere. It’ll be really strange not to have the passionate fans there this year.”
Pérez currently sits ninth in the Drivers’ Championship standings after the first seven events despite him sitting out the two races at Silverstone due to a positive coronavirus test. He has scored points in every race he has competed in this year, but he feels there is still room for improvement across the second half of the year.
“It was tough to miss two races, so I can’t be fully satisfied with my season,” said Pérez. “But the great thing is that there are still a lot of races to go and the car is performing well, so I know I can be stronger in the second half of the season.
“I think I have room for improvement too, so I’m looking forward to putting everything together and hopefully fighting for a podium in the coming races.”
“We’re learning the lessons and working hard to keep improving the car” – Lance Stroll
Team-mate Lance Stroll has shown good pace at Monza in the past, qualifying on the front row for Williams Racing back in 2017, and the Canadian is ready to maximise his weekend in Italy.
Stroll feels the team has made a strong start to the delayed 2020 season and he has scored points in each race that he has finished, with his only blemish coming in the season opener in Austria where a mechanical issue ended his race early.
The twenty-one-year-old, who currently sits seventh in the Drivers’ standings, says there is not any real secret about why he has been strong at Monza in the past, but it is important to maximise the potential of the RP20 if they are to be strong again this weekend.
“It’s such a high-speed track, which makes it a great challenge,” said Stroll. “Starting on the front row in 2017 was one of the best days of my career and I’m really looking forward to getting back there. I don’t think there’s any secret to my performances there – it’s just been a case of maximising the weekends.
“It’s been a good start so far and I think we’ve had a strong start to the year as a team too. We’ve been consistently scoring points and I’m enjoying this car. We’ve had some challenging races too – such as last week in Spa, but we’re learning the lessons and working hard to keep improving the car.
“There is still a long way to go this season – ten more races – and I’m excited for a lot of the tracks coming up.”