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Sergio Perez Q&A: The gap to the front is still substantial 28 Jun 2013

Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Preparations, Silverstone, England, Thursday, 27 June 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren and Mark Temple (GBR) McLaren Performance Engineer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Preparations, Silverstone, England, Thursday, 27 June 2013

McLaren brought a major package of upgrades to Silverstone, but their chances of evaluating them thoroughly on Friday were dealt a blow by the inclement weather. Sergio Perez didn't complete a timed effort in FP1, but ended FP2 in 14th place having completed 29 valuable laps. Afterwards he spoke about the team's progress…

Q: Sergio, how does it feel for you to race at Silverstone?
Sergio Perez:
It is very special to race in front of the home crowd of McLaren, and I can really see and feel the big support that comes across from them, especially during the difficult times we are facing at the moment - it is very important for us to deliver a good race.
 
Q: McLaren still has a significant gap to close to the frontrunners, so what is your impression: will you make a major step forward this weekend?
SP:
Well, the first session was practically waved through, but the afternoon was indeed pretty productive. We went through our programme as planned without any major glitches. We did a high fuel run to prepare for the race - the rest of the time was consumed preparing for qualifying. So let's put it this way: it was not a waste of a day.
 
Q: Does that mean that Q3 is likely?
SP:
We made another step forward, but the gap to the frontrunners is still substantial. We’ve tried some new bits that are not working as planned so I would assume that we are in a similar position as we were in Montreal. I think pace-wise we are still way off the usual McLaren speed. We do take a lot of risks in terms of development, and we also make some tough decisions in regards to progress - all in the hope of turning things around soon.
 
Q: Ride is very important on this track. Have you been able to improve that?
SP:
True, ride is very important here. It is a lot of high-speed corners and the car has to go very low, so yes, it is one of the issues we are having - the ride - but I think we made a good step forward in that area. But still it is not enough. The system that we wanted to implement made the car worse rather than better. The result is that we are lacking a lot of downforce, especially in the high-speed parts. That makes me believe that the high-speed areas will be the weakest parts for us this weekend.
 
Q: Do you believe that you can turn the weekend around and get the smiles back on McLaren faces?
SP:
Well, I think we can make it into Q3 if we get the perfect lap.  
 
Q: The FIA has announced today that there will be a penalty points system for drivers from next year. It will vary from one to three points depending on the severity of the offence - and 12 points will sideline you for one race. What’s your opinion on that?
SP:
I have to read it and let it sink in - then I can give an answer. We definitely will speak in the drivers' briefing about it, but in the end there is nothing we can do as the decision has already been taken.
 
Q: But do you support the idea?
SP:
Yes, because it will improve the consistency of the penalties.

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