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Sergio Perez Q&A: 2014 prospects brighter than a week ago 21 Nov 2013

Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Preparations, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, 21 November 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28 and Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8 battle.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, United States Grand Prix, Race, Austin, Texas, USA, Sunday, 17 November 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Preparations, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, 21 November 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, United States Grand Prix, Qualifying, Austin, USA, Texas, Saturday, 16 November 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Preparations, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, 21 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

Last weekend Sergio Perez went into the Austin race having just learnt that McLaren were unexpectedly dropping him after just a single season. This weekend he heads into Brazil’s 2013 finale determined to end his time with the team on a high. And talking to the media at Interlagos on Thursday, the Mexican also hinted that his chances of a 2014 drive elsewhere have grown significantly in the last seven days…

Q: Checo, it’s your last race for McLaren. When looking back at the season, how would you rate yourself on a scale from one to ten?
Sergio Perez:
I think I have done a good job throughout the season. If you look at my results I should have 20 to 30 points more on my tally if you consider that I have had quite some issues with the tyres. So I would give me a seven.

Q: Can you sum up your time at McLaren?
SP:
Personally I’ve learned a lot and I would say that McLaren has made me a better driver - and I have to thank them for that. Equally it is true that I joined the team at the worst possible time. It could very likely be that it will turn out to be the worst season for McLaren in history, so the season was far from ideal. But I think that nothing happens without a reason, so I am pretty convinced that in one year’s time I will probably tell you that it was the best thing that could have happened to me to leave McLaren. Well, I hope I can tell you this!

Q: How high a percentage chance is there that you will remain in Formula One racing in 2014?
SP:
Ha, 95 percent that I will remain in F1 next season - but the remaining five percent are always the tricky ones. From my gut feeling I am pretty sure that I will race in 2014.

Q: How satisfying was your Austin result, given the fact that you’d been sacked by McLaren just days before the race?
SP:
It was satisfying to give motivation to my people who had come all the way from Mexico. So yes, it was an emotional weekend and in fact I wanted to show a lot more, but the car didn’t allow me to move up any further.

Q: What are your options for 2014? Is it between Force India and Sauber?
SP:
It’s not only them. There are quite a number of options and this much I can say: right now it is looking better than it was looking one week ago. So I am looking into the future rather positively. Yep, it’s looking good.

Q: Just yesterday there was a rumour connecting you to the second Lotus seat. What can you say about that?
SP:
That there are always rumours around. And that rumours sometimes go faster than the cars. As I just said, my future is looking much brighter than some days ago…

Q: But Lotus would be a good catch…
SP:
But there are also other ‘good catches’ around.

Q: So let’s focus on this weekend. This Interlagos track is pretty iconic. How do you feel going into the race on Sunday?
SP:
I love the country, I love the track, and I am a huge fan of Ayrton Senna. Actually he is the only idol I have in the sport. Then it is the last race of the season - that in itself makes it very special. And it’s the race where you are probably split emotionally: one half of you is still in the current season, but a part of your mind is already flying towards the future and the new season. For this weekend I hope that me and the team will finish the year on a high. I will do anything possible to make it happen and to leave the Sao Paulo paddock on Sunday walking tall.

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