Perez sure 'intelligent' discussions will avoid Baku repeat

Sergio Perez (MEX) Force India at Formula One World Championship, Rd9, Austrian Grand Prix,

Five years ago Sergio Perez made the headlines with several punchy and uncompromising overtaking attempts - but in Azerbaijan a fortnight ago he was on the receiving end as he and Force India team mate Esteban Ocon collided, scuppering both men's hopes of a potential podium finish. If there was friction at the time though, Perez says subsequent talks have calmed the situation - allowing him to look forward to what he believes could be a very profitable weekend in Spielberg...

Sergio Perez (MEX) Force India VJM10 at Formula One World Championship, Rd9, Austrian Grand Prix,

"I expect Esteban is clever enough to learn from what he did in Baku. That should help!" - Sergio Perez

Q: Checo, team mates are a special kind of breed: sometimes useful, sometimes funny… and sometimes annoying. In what stage is Esteban Ocon for you right now?

Sergio Perez: I would go for the third option right now! (Laughs)

Q: Have there been discussions about team protocols after Canada and Baku?

SP: The main discussion I had was with the team. They explained what happened. They think that Esteban misunderstood the situation in Baku. He was over aggressive – and the team's point of view is that he is lacking experience, and so on and so forth. Everything should be sorted by now and all frictions are a thing of the past.

Q: Can you understand that somebody who is so young wants to make an impression?

SP: Of course you want to show the whole world that there is a reason why you are in F1 – but you should not turn off your brain. It's a fine line between being aggressive, being over aggressive and being out of control. The top drivers learn from their mistakes – and change their attitude. If you are not able to learn from your mistakes you aren't going to have a successful career in F1!

Q: You've never really had this kind of rivalry before - will you have to get used to it from now on?

SP: True it is the first time that I am confronted with such a situation! And no I will not have to get used to it: I expect Esteban is clever enough to learn from what he did in Baku. That should help!

Q: You said after Baku that you could have won – does that add to the frustration looking back?

SP: Oh yes, it was not a very lucky situation! To get stopped in a race where anything suddenly became possible by your team mate is really, really unfortunate. But as I said: it is in the past. I am very happy with my season so far.

Sergio Perez (MEX) Force India fans selfie at Formula One World Championship, Rd9, Austrian Grand

"F1 is not like football where the players have it more in their hands where to go..." - Perez on his 2018 ambitions

Q: Can you talk us through the race? It was fairly crazy to watch…

SP: I did everything right from lap one onwards. I was up to P3 having a really nice battle with Verstappen – on pure merit… I was third on pure merit! Then it got complicated with the red flag and the re-start and so on – and then came the accident with Esteban. I gave him enough room, so suddenly I got into that very unfortunate position. We were very close to an exceptionally good position!

Q: With a good Baku result you could have jumped to P6 in the standing – leaving Verstappen behind you. Will that missed chance come back ever again this season?

SP: Ha, yes I was ahead of him and had I finished he would have been behind me in the championship! Nice thought.

Q: You've long been linked to a drive at Ferrari – but Kimi Raikkonen is not giving any indications that he wants to quit, and his form doesn't suggest he is winding down either. Do you observe the situation closely?

SP: Not really. I am focusing on what I am doing and trying to score plenty of points.

Q: Do you think top teams see your performances though – and the consistent ability to extract points?

SP: F1 is not like football where the players have it more in their hands where to go. The best example is Fernando Alonso… I don't think he has a lot of choice! But then look: next year might be a completely different story! Maybe we will see Renault or McLaren jump to glory again - who knows! To pick the right thing is very tricky. Right now my main focus is to finish the first half of the season well – and then in the summer break I will weigh between what is available and where my heart wants to go!

Q: There is also a feeling that Sebastian Vettel has an influence on who his team mate will be – have you ever tried to talk things over with him?

SP: I know him. I have been racing with him for many years – but not more than a normal chat at the drivers parade! (Laughs)

Q: Friday practice showed a mixed picture for you. With what kind of expectation do you go into the weekend? What was your impression today?

SP: Well, from what I have seen today it was not too glorious – but it is only Friday. I didn't do FP1 and we tried many different things on the car in the afternoon. In all fairness – and knowing that under normal circumstances the first six places are ‘reserved' for the three front runner teams – I will only be so bold to say that on Sunday I will get my best result in Austria…

Q: …you finished P6 last year – so you're expecting better on Sunday then?

SP: Yes!



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