Mar.9 (PVM) Sergio Perez was one of the more impressive rookies last year and it came as no surprise that he was retained by the Sauber team for 2012. Now on the verge of his second season, the Mexican cannot wait for the action to start in Melbourne.
Speaking ahead of the Australian Grand Prix weekend, Perez said, “I just can’t wait to go racing again. My feelings ahead of this season are quite different to last year, when everything was entirely new to me. Now, with one season in F1 under my belt, I feel physically and mentally capable of doing the job.”
The 22 year old from Guadalajara concedes, “The one year of experience isn’t that much, but even this will allow me to focus more on performance than I was able to last year. I got used to a variety of circumstances which come along when you are an F1 driver. This goes for procedures and communication inside the team, but it also includes that I found a good personal life balance with all the travelling.”
In his rookie season Perez scored 14 points and finished 16th in the world championship, he has loftier ambitions for this year, “My target for 2012 is to make the most of the car in every given situation and to fully establish myself in F1.”
The Sauber C31 appears to be a solid piece of kit as they were consistently at the sharp end of the timing screens during pre-season testing.
Perez admits, “We have made really good progress during testing and learnt a lot about the new car. Nevertheless, the track in Melbourne can still come up with surprises. Last year, for example, we would never have expected it was possible to get away with only one pit stop for the race distance, because testing suggested higher tyre wear.”
Last year in his grand prix debut, Perez crossed the finish line seventh place in his first race, impressing the F1 world by stopping to change tyres only once — the only driver in the field do so. However, both Sauber cars were subsequently disqualified for infringing technical regulations.
Perez added, “We will see how we manage the first grand prix and, although the track in Melbourne is a special one and not that representative, we will get a first indication of where we are with the C31 in terms of performance.”