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Sergio Perez Q&A: McLaren race pace looking good 01 Nov 2013

Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Practice, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Friday, 1 November 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Practice, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Friday, 1 November 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Practice, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Friday, 1 November 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Practice, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Friday, 1 November 2013

Sergio Perez has been having a tough first season with McLaren, and the team have yet to confirm him for 2014. At the last round in India he made his case for staying with his best result of the year to date, and in Abu Dhabi he’s confident of continuing in the same vein. After finishing a highly-encouraging sixth fastest on Friday, he spoke to the media about his prospects for the rest of the Yas Marina weekend...

Q: Checo, you seem to excel under difficult conditions - when it is not quite clear which direction to go in a race - so India must have been really satisfying…
Sergio Perez:
Believe me, it was. Especially after all that bad luck that we had lately in Korea and Japan. We could have finished much better at those two races - probably not as good as in India, but with more points in Korea and in the points in Japan. We just had bad luck there, so to come back stronger in India gives you a big satisfaction.

Q: Could it be that you have finally arrived at McLaren? It was your best result of the season. Does that indicate that from now on you can repeat such results?
SP:
Probably, yes. We did a really good job in India - better than other teams. There are teams more competitive than us such as Ferrari and Lotus and Mercedes, but one of each of their cars got it wrong so we were able to beat them in the end. Whether or not we are at that level to be fighting again for P5 is hard to say. Nevertheless, I think it is going to be a very interesting weekend for us, so let’s wait and see how competitive we really will be tomorrow and on Sunday.

Q: When looking at your performance today, you were ‘only’ seven-tenths off the pace of frontrunner Sebastian Vettel. That again looks like another step…
SP:
It does. And it shows how different things are between the first and second sessions - between boiling conditions when the sun is out and cooler ones after sunset. From the car’s side it really is almost day and night. My long runs were really great and that gives hope that we will have a good race pace on Sunday.

Q: As qualifying is after sunset, does that give you hope that you will make it into Q3?
SP:
Definitely.

Q: Strategy will again play a major role in Sunday’s success. Do you think that a one-stop strategy will be an option for you?
SP:
I think that will be rather difficult, as the option tyres do not work so perfectly for us in the long runs. But I am confident with them for qualifying - and that is possibly the best strategy that we can work on: to get a good position on the grid and work from there. We drivers may be thinking of fast, fast laps in qualifying, but the real goal must be Sunday: we want to get points. That is our focus for the weekend.

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