Perez: I am really looking forward to the big challenge that lies ahead of us 24 January, 2014 Sergio Perez with Force India teammate Nico Hulkenberg with their new threads The presentation of the new VJM07 and of the team’s new look brought to the fore the sweet news that every Formula 1 fan was waiting for – the new season is finally here. With just a few days until the cars hit the track in the first pre-season tests, we caught up with our newest recruit, Sergio Perez, to take his pulse on the new season, the car and to look back at a very eventful off-season break. “Winter has been a very busy period for me,” says Perez right after a seat-fitting session at our Silverstone headquarters. “I had a knee operation, from which I have fully recovered. Since then, I have been doing some really good work with my trainers, back home. They came over to Mexico and we did both rehabilitation and a lot of physical work to get fully fit for the first day of testing.” Spending time at home allowed Sergio to witness first-hand the incredible passion with which his countrymen and women have welcomed his transfer to Sahara Force India. Sergio Perez with Vijay Mallya “The whole of Mexico has got behind us: both the media and the fans are really enthusiastic about our new adventure,” he says, as a smile opens on his face. “I have a lot of support back home and I am really looking forward to bringing a lot of happiness to them. Hopefully we will achieve good results this year and repay all our fans’ faith in us.” With the four days in Jerez looming ever closer, conversation soon swings over to the expectations for this new season. “I am confident [that] we will be ready and I am really looking forward to the big challenge that lies ahead of us,” says the Jalisciense, who does not underestimate the task at hand. “It’s going to be a very busy time, some weeks in which we will need to get everything in place. It will be very important for us as a team to get on top of the new regulations as quickly as possible. It’s a crucial opportunity to steal a march on our rivals, especially at the beginning of the season.” Sergio Perez looking forward to his new adventure The first few races are a strong time of the year for Perez, who famously came close to winning the Malaysian Grand Prix with an incredible drive in 2012. Repeating such performances while starting a new adventure with a new team can be a challenge, one our driver is prepared to tackle with enthusiasm. “I genuinely can’t wait to drive the car. The expectations are high and everyone is working really hard for it. It’s nice to work with my new team and now it is the moment to speed it up and do more together: this way, by the time we get to Australia everything will be second-nature.” As parting comments, Perez also reveals what he thinks of the new look of the VJM07 – and his reaction is as positive as the ones our fans shared with us. “I really like the colours of the new livery, it does look very nice! There are some good Mexican brands on it as well which makes it even better for me. Hopefully those colours will bring us some very good luck!” (GP247) Subbed by AJN.