Perez: The target is to get the first win this season for our team

Sergio Perez and the Sauber team celebrate third place in the Canadian GP

Sergio Perez and the Sauber team celebrate third place in the Canadian GP

Jun.11 (FIA) Sergio Perez drove a sensational final dozen laps in the Canadian Grand Prix to finish third and take his second career podium at venue where he only drove a few laps last year, the Mexican showed control and skill to look after his tyres and conduct a clinical attack on the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso at the very end of the race  – the Sauber driver spoke at the post race press conference.

Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber celebrates on the podium. Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday 10 June 2012.An incredible drive, an incredible race. At what point did you know that a podium was on the cards?
Sergio Perez: Well, to be honest, until I passed Fernando, because starting 15th the last thing you would think about is ending up on the podium. We went quite aggressive, the first stint was quite good. Then the stop was very good. The second stint was really, really good. I managed to overtake some cars in difficult manoeuvres. I saw that degradation was not so high for me. I could manage my pace well. Then I managed to get some other drivers. It’s a great result for the team after such a bad day we had yesterday. We had a lot of trouble with the brakes. Today, it’s just great to finish here on the podium. It’s a great boost for the team. After Malaysia it’s our second time to get in the [major] points and the second podium, so hopefully we can keep this way. Obviously we have been very unlucky: what happened in Monaco for example. We were very quick there and in Barcelona as well. It’s great to come back and do a podium for the whole team and with this here being so close to home with a lot of Mexicans around, it’s great.

Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber C31. Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday 10 June 2012.You were almost a rookie, apart from three laps last year, and from 15th on the grid, one-stop, once again showing that you can keep the tyres alive.
SP: Yeah. It was a great race for the whole team because after such a disappointing qualifying that we had yesterday, with so little pace as well – we didn’t have the pace we wanted to – so we had to fight in a different way with the strategy and try to make it work and make it happen with the strategy. We didn’t have any reference on the long runs. The long runs we did with the tyres, it was 10-15 degrees C less track temperature. So, it was a lottery, basically, but I think the team has done a great job with the stop and the strategy, myself too, keeping the tyres alive and being so consistent. It’s been a great result for the whole team. We have been so unlucky since Malaysia. We had the pace but for some reason or another we don’t manage to get the result in the end. I think it’s great to come back into the points with another podium.

You mentioned you had brake problems yesterday, was there any trace of that today?
SP: No, when I mentioned we had a brake problem it was nothing like a failure. It was just that the balance was really bad for me and I could not manage to stop the car, I flat-spot my tyres, so I have a lot of vibration in qualifying. In the race it was different. We worked a lot during the night – yesterday – to fix the problems and we did a great job.

Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber in the Press Conference. Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday 10 June 2012.And after these two podiums that you’ve had, as you say a little bit of frustration that since Malaysia you haven’t had better luck. What do you feel you can do in the rest of the Championship?
SP: The thing is we long to fight for a podium every race. It was a very crazy race, as we have had many of this year. But I think we have the potential to do it. This has to be the target, to get the first win this season for our team.

How do you feel now compared to the podium in Malaysia, and now you’ve got a second and a third place, there’s just one spot still missing on the podium; when do you think you might get that?
SP: Well, I think every podium is special, especially when it’s only your second podium in Formula One, it’s a very special feeling. In the position that I am with my team, we are still fighting to get to the top, to be a top driver one day. It’s great, every opportunity I have to show my potential, because you don’t know how many opportunities you will have. I have been very unlucky in the last races so I think it feels great but I think the first podium feels a bit better.