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Sergio Perez Q&A: Melbourne’s going to be interesting 02 Mar 2013

Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren.
Formula One Testing, Day 1, Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, 28 February 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One Testing, Day 3, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 2 March 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One Testing, Day 3, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 2 March 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One Testing, Day 3, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 2 March 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One Testing, Day 1, Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, 28 February 2013

In two weeks’ time, Sergio Perez will make his McLaren race debut in Australia. Following a winter of testing that has been far from ideal in terms of weather conditions, Perez concedes he would like to be better prepared. But after his final day in the MP4-28 in Barcelona on Saturday, the Mexican insists he and the team have done all they can…

Q: Sergio, your last test day before it gets serious in Melbourne. How would you sum it up?
Sergio Perez:
Well, I think I’m not telling a secret if I say that the weather at all three tests was far from ideal. We have been able to gain a lot of insight into the extreme wet tyres and the inters, so in this respect the tests were very productive. (laughs) I know now how the car behaves in these conditions. Of course, you would have also wanted some nice and warm conditions, but that’s how it goes sometimes. Overall I would say that we still got the maximum out of it.

Q: Is it making you nervous that so close to the start of the season there are still so many question marks? You are new in the team so ideally you needed much more information…
SP:
No, it doesn’t make me nervous - and yes, I would have liked to gain much more information about the car than the conditions allowed. It’s definitely a bit disappointing, but then you have to maximize what is possible - and that we have been doing.

Q: Melbourne will need a completely different set-up than either the Jerez or the two Barcelona tests allowed - is that of any concern?
SP:
Of course we would love to head to Melbourne with much more information than we have at the moment. We had some difficult days lately in getting information out of the car, but that’s the way it is and in such a situation the only thing you can realistically do is maximize what you have - and we did. There was nobody up and down the pit lane who didn’t have problems during the tests and we all would like to arrive in Melbourne a bit better prepared. But with how it is now, it will be a very interesting first race…

Q: With all these uncertainties, do you expect some nasty surprises in Melbourne - or some pleasant ones?
SP:
With so little time left - and today was the first real chance of a dry, if quite chilly day - it is impossible to say how the grid will be. We know that we are quick, but how quick we don’t know.

Q: Today, with the best conditions in quite a while, what information did you try to collect?
SP:
Well, we’ve been running some updates - and that worked reasonably well - and as I was not too happy with the set-up at the first Barcelona test in similar conditions, we tried something new - and let’s wait and see if it will deliver.

Q: It is fair to say that being with McLaren is the biggest chance in your F1 career. How are you feeling heading for Melbourne?
SP:
First of all I have to say that I enjoy every minute being with McLaren - being in the factory and working together with the engineers. I am very motivated. I think if we keep all that motivation we will be fighting for big things this year.

Q: Is it irritating that so close to the first race you suddenly have to cope with a new technical director?
SP:
No, not really. I haven’t spent much time with (former technical director) Paddy (Lowe), so it doesn’t make a huge difference for me.

Q: Now that the start of the season is so close, is the pressure rising?
SP:
Of course when you are racing for McLaren you are expected to win - and this is also my target: to win. Sure, there is the need to prove myself, but it is motivation rather than pressure that keeps me going. All the other guys that are in a top team have already proven themselves - this is something that I still have ahead of me.

Q: Is it the right time for you to be with McLaren, or would you have preferred some more ‘learning’ time with a more low-key team?
SP:
Believe me, it is the right moment! Now it is up to me to grab this chance with both hands.

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