Q&A with Sergio Perez on his McLaren debut 07 Feb 2013
Ever since Sergio Perez arrived in Jerez for the first pre-season test of the year, the Mexican has had a huge smile on his face, and after his debut run in the MP4-28 for new team McLaren on Wednesday, his mood remained buoyant. Fresh from the cockpit, the 23-year-old spoke about his first impressions of the new car
Q: Sergio, are you enjoying life as a McLaren driver so far?
Sergio Perez: Yes, I definitely am! It was a good day and I am very happy with what weve been able to do today. I was able to do a really big programme today - different set-up balance, trying to understand the car even if the degradation is so big. You can only do one lap in low fuel, so its a bit tricky to get the feel for the car. But overall I think we did a good job today. I have five days more until the Melbourne race. That doesnt sound too much, but if we continue to do our job as weve done today, well be prepared in Australia.
Q: Now that you have first-hand experience of working with McLaren, can you say how it compares to working with Sauber?
SP: Everything is big! (laughs) Everything involved with the team is massive. Its indeed another level. I am very happy - happy with my new family. We are working so hard for the goal that we have together for this season and we are moving in the right direction.
Q: Is the MP4-28 a car that gives you a good feeling right away?
SP: Definitely. I know that we have a good car, now it is on us to work on it, to do our job. How competitive are we? I dont know. Nobody puts his cards on the table at tests. Everybody runs his own programs and analyses the data, so it is not about speed but about getting the answers to the questions that you had.
Q: Whats different to the Sauber car?
SP: There are many differences: the steering wheel, the pedals, the view out of the cockpit, the way you approach corners - its like moving into a new office and it is a process to get adapted to all these novelties. I still need to sort out some things with my seat and the cockpit to get more comfortable. In some ways you could almost call it a start from zero. Its fair to say that this adaptation is not so easy, so I am even more satisfied that the day went so well. I am sure you all see that smile on my face!
Q: How much time did you dedicate to only adapting and how much time could you work with the car?
SP: You cannot divide these two aspects at a test. Thats what tests are for. True, for me its a bit more, but all the others are also confronted with new cars. Thats a drivers business.
Q: Its now five months since it was revealed that you would join this team and today you finally got your first run in the car. Was it as good as you expected or was it business as usual?
SP: Oh boy, it was exciting! I have done a lot of simulator work lately, but this here - nothing can beat it!
Q: For the first time in your career you have a team mate who is a world champion. Is that a burden?
SP: Not at all. It is fantastic to have a champion next to me - I am learning so much from him. Sure, the pressure is there and the team expects a lot from me, but that is what happens if you step up a level.
Q: Youd spoken about your aims for the season before getting a run in the car. Have they changed now that youve driven the MP4-28?
SP: The aim is always to win the championship. That is my aim.
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