‘We’ve never gone so long without driving’ says Perez as he trains for 'very demanding' F1 return
Sergio Perez is bracing himself for what he says is going to be a “physically very demanding” return to the cockpit when F1 starts racing again next month, by which time the drivers will have gone over four months without getting behind the wheel of their race cars.
The last time Perez and his fellow drivers were out on track in their F1 machinery was at pre-season testing in Barcelona back in February. And the gap from then to the first race in Austria on July 5, is far longer than the usual break the drivers have over the winter – something Perez said will take it’s toll physically in the latest F1 Nation podcast.
“We actually started proper training this week,” said the Racing Point driver. “My trainers are here with me, so we already started and we know that it’s going to be a big challenge to go straight back into racing.
"We’ve never spent so much time without the driving the cars. So physically, it's going to be very demanding and I am working hard on that. I’m very happy that finally we have a date that we can go racing," he added.
Perez, like other racers at this top level, is in an unusual situation as he’s never spent this much time at home before – having travelled the world to pursue a racing career from an early age.
“Since I’m 12 or 11 I’ve never spent this much time at home," he said. "It’s been great… but of course, I miss my driving, I miss my adrenaline, the competition, my mates, the team."
And with the Racing Point RP20 perhaps the team's most competitive car in years after its blistering pre-season testing form, Perez is itching to get back in the cockpit to see if he can grab a few podiums – or maybe even a first F1 career win.
“Obviously when you have a good car on your hands, you want to go racing, you want to be at the racetrack every weekend; it’s not that if you have a bad car the last thing you want to do is race.
“[More than] the feeling if I can win or be in the podium, I want to compete, to have that feeling of qualifying, of racing… making sure I score the points, that feeling you have as a driver throughout the years is something I’m missing quite a lot.”