Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Sergio Perez Q&A: Rumours don’t change anything 25 Oct 2013

Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Practice, Friday, 25 October 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Preparations, Friday, 25 October 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Practice, Friday, 25 October 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Practice, Friday, 25 October 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Preparations, Thursday, 24 October 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race Day, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 13 October 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren at the autograph session.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Preparations, Thursday, 24 October 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28 in the garage,
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Practice, Friday, 25 October 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Preparations, Thursday, 24 October 2013

Sergio Perez’s first season at McLaren has been something of a nightmare for the Mexican. Far from challenging for race wins, he’s struggled to consistently score points in the troubled MP4-28. Worse still, paddock rumours have linked Perez to the McLaren exit door. Is there any truth in the speculation? That was the first question we put to the man himself in an exclusive interview…

Q: Sergio, are shivers of fear going up and down your spine when you hear speculation about McLaren’s future plans and your name isn’t mentioned?
Sergio Perez:
Well, what you see in the media and what is reality in the team are two completely different stories. I am happy with the situation I have - and rumours don’t change anything. I am determined to succeed and to do my best for my team - that hasn’t changed. We still have four races to go to try to show our true colours; to score as many points as the car allows us to do, to put on a good show - and to look forward. I think we still can walk away from the season with our heads up.

Q: When you signed with McLaren last season, winning seemed like a normal procedure for them: they’d won seven of the 20 races in 2012. This year, so far they haven’t even been close to scoring a podium. Are you feeling cheated?
SP:
No, no. We are in a difficult situation, yes. And looking back I had the option to join other top teams for 2013, but when McLaren knocked at my door it was very clear that I would join them - that it is the right place for me. Yes, the season has been disappointing - not only for me, but for the whole team. But McLaren has such big potential and is so determined to succeed that what we see is not more than an unfortunate blip in the history of McLaren.

Q: Will you be given the time to show your full ability to the team?
SP:
Yep, that is the question - and that is why there are so many rumours out there - but I know the situation and I am looking very much forward to it.

Q: Why is it that your team mate Jenson Button seems to be better at coming to terms with the material he is given? Is it because of his long history with the team, whereas you are the new kid on the block?
SP:
I don’t like to dig up excuses. It is clear that with the material we’ve been given he’s done a better job, but what is also very clear is that we are not fighting for anything. I’ve had pretty bad luck lately with a puncture, pit stops going wrong, problems with other drivers etc, but in terms of speed there is a little bit to come. I am optimistic that in the future we have a very strong potential together.

Q: How has it been, dealing with one another in the team when frustration must be part of the situation?
SP:
It is. It is not the nicest situation, coming to a race knowing that you will not win - that your target is to just make it into Q3 and just make it into the points. It is tough for me as a driver and it sure is also tough for a team that is used to winning. But we have shown that we never give up and this is the approach that we have to take. We have four more races to go and that is good news, so we are all looking forward to the future and having a car that enables us to win, to be up there on the podium and consequently fighting for the championship.

Q: You have a mixed history here in India: at the first race in 2011 you finished tenth; last year you had a punctured tyre. What’s your expectation for Sunday?
SP:
Last year I had a good qualifying, and then I had some issues with the tyre, yes. For now I am already very much looking forward to doing better than tenth. I’ll keep my fingers crossed! We have made some improvements to the car, but of course not a real big step. As I just said, it is all about getting into Q3 and scoring some points. That might sound very pessimistic, but that is our reality. Sometimes it is good that we see our reality - to make us aware that we have some way to go.

Q: But today it seemed to work a bit better than usual - it may only be Friday afternoon, but you and Jenson would have managed to get into Q3…
SP:
Ha, but we did have some blistering on the tyres and my guess is that the tyres will have an impact on the race - especially for us. We had some issues with the balance of the car on the option tyres. I don’t want to be too concerned about it, but definitely there has to be some analysis this evening to find ways and means to improve for qualifying. In fact, despite these issues, I am pretty optimistic for the rest of the weekend.

Q: Can you do better in qualifying or will it be ninth or tenth place like today?
SP:
I think where we’ve ended today, that was pretty realistic. If you get a great lap then it could also be P7. Let’s wait and see. I am open and willing for P7. (laughs)

Q: There is a big chance that Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel will clinch the two championships here in India. Does this change anything for you or McLaren?
SP:
For the team and me this would not make any difference. Obviously we are not fighting for any of the championships this year, so we are focusing on scoring as many points as possible and maximizing the potential to learn as much as possible for any future race. Sebastian is a great driver and he has a very strong team behind him which gives him a great car. His consistency over the last few years has paid out, and this is why he deserves a fourth world championship title.

For tickets and travel to 2013 FORMULA 1 races, click here.
For FORMULA 1 merchandise, click here.