Sergio Perez Q&A: Sauber well set for Sundays race 09 Jul 2011
Having missed two Grands Prix following his huge Monaco crash, Saubers Sergio Perez made a relatively low-key return at the last round in Valencia. At Silverstone he says he is really back, and plans to resume the promising debut season he was enjoying prior to Monte Carlo. He may have only qualified 12th on Saturday - four places down on team mate Kamui Kobayashi - but Perez is confident of greater things in Sundays race
Q: Sergio, you left quite a heavy impression in Monaco. Not so long ago you said that its one of your favourite tracks. Is that still true?
Sergio Perez: Yes, that has not changed at all. I know that the Monaco track is very risky - I have learned that the hard way - but that is also what makes Monaco so special. It is my opinion that in the streets of Monaco a driver can really show his true colours - in Monaco more than at any other track. I have no problems with that track at all and apart from that crash I had a good weekend there - I had made it into Q3 before the lights went out. Unfortunately that made me lose two races.
Q: Can you tell us how you saw the crash and how you overcame the incident?
SP: Well, I was pushing all weekend and when it happened I had already made it into Q3, so everything was looking very positive. And then suddenly the weekend went out of my hands and I was waking up in hospital. I was sure that I would be able to race in Montreal and when I jumped in the car there it was very difficult for me to drive - I was feeling very dizzy. So I was talking with the team and we decided that it is best that I fly home and recover. Next time in Valencia it was much easier and no issue any more.
Q: It must have been a hard decision not to race in Canada. A rookie is always under immense pressure
SP: To be honest it was an easy decision because I realized that I was not even close to a one hundred percent of my normal capacity. So I talked to Monisha (Kaltenborn) and Peter (Sauber) and the team fully supported me. We came to the decision that it would be too big a risk for me to race, especially given that this is a long-term partnership and if something happens it could destroy my future career in Formula One.
Q: Everybody who saw your crash almost suffered a cardiac arrest. How do you cope with any possible repercussions? Can you simply switch off the memory?
SP: Yes, I simply switch off. Of course it was a big impact for my head, so it was not so easy to recover. As I said before I went home to Guadalajara and have done a very good recovery programme with my physio, so I already felt good in Valencia and am sure I will get more and more momentum from now on.
Q: We have seen drivers who never fully came back after a huge crash - and others who were fully back immediately. Did you worry about what that crash could do to you?
SP: No, I did not. I only knew that I immediately wanted to race the next day. The doctor said no - a good decision. I want to stay long term in Formula One and build up a serious career, so it would have been unwise to force anything.
Q: This is your second race weekend after Monaco. What are your hopes? Doing better than Valencia?
SP: Yes, because after that huge Monaco impact Valencia was still quite hard for me, even though I think I did a very good job there. Personally I think it was one of my best races in terms of giving everything, so coming here feels much easier again and I am looking forward to a good race.
Q: Silverstone has undergone some major changes. How do you like the new layout?
SP: Personally I dont like this pit lane. It is too narrow and I am missing Copse as the first corner, as I guess many other drivers do as well. But we will all come to terms with the new situation. We always do.
Q: How satisfied have you been with the weekend so far, in particular with your qualifying?
SP: I am pretty satisfied. I think that we are very well prepared for the race as our qualifying strategy was more to prepare for the race. Our aerodynamics are going more in the direction for the race. I think tomorrow should be a good race.
Q: What would mean a good race for you?
SP: Tomorrow I want to get back into the points again. I definitely want to pocket some points and resume where I left off in Monaco.
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