Q: Checo, you finally got some proper running in your new car on Friday. Force India seem to have been going well - do you think you’ll be one of the hot contenders for good results this season?
Sergio Perez: Yes, it was a promising experience (driving the car). Regarding this season: it is much too early to make any kind of predictions. Yes, we are doing good work - now let’s see how it will develop until Australia. Even if I did some running in Jerez, today was somewhat my first ‘proper’ day in the car with everything running pretty smoothly, so I am happy with today and hopefully we get an even stronger day tomorrow.
Q: It is your second year with a team that is Mercedes-powered, so at least that is nothing completely new to you. Some would say that it’s seems to be the best engine around these days…
SP: It’s a very good engine - I think it is fair to say that it is the most reliable around right now, but my guess is that we will see the other manufacturers bounce back. My prediction is that it will be a close battle between the front and the midfield.
Q: For you, you’re not just coping with the rule changes, but also a change of team. How difficult is that?
SP: Let’s talk about the car first: when I got into the car for the first time it was the impression of quite some change compared to last year and I thought to myself ‘what’s this?’. But then you understand very quickly: this is just another Formula One car. So you go on with your routine that you know. From the driving qualities we have less downforce than in the previous years, so it will be interesting to see how everybody comes to terms with this fact.
Q: Many say that the Mercedes-powered teams have an advantage right now. Does that mean that you have to capitalise in the early races?
SP: That would be great! But in reality I think that the other manufacturers will come back earlier than the first race. Let’s be frank: all the teams are having problems at the moment - even us. We had a delay of two hours this morning, so we were not able to run our full programme. Other teams are facing similar things.
Q: You have explained what the changes on the car mean - but how about your team change? How are you progressing with settling in at Force India?
SP: It’s progressing very well. I have been to the factory many times, but of course it takes some time until you are familiar with a new environment. I feel pretty happy here.