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Perez enjoys special day with Ferrari

NEWS STORY
15/09/2011

Today saw the fifth and final Ferrari Driver Academy course of the year come to an end at the Fiorano circuit. The programme's aim is to help talented youngsters involved in motorsport and today it was Sauber star Sergio Perez who was on track.

After a two day stint on the simulator, the Mexican got behind the wheel of an F60, the car used by the Maranello outfit back in 2009. He completed 46 laps with a best time of 1.00.650.

Also on duty today was Jules Bianchi, who joined the Academy in 2010, who works with the Scuderia on car development.

"Today, we followed two different programmes with Perez and Bianchi," said Academy head, Luca Baldisserri. "Sergio impressed, despite this being his first time at the wheel of a Ferrari. He proved to be aggressive and quick right from the start and was able to adapt to the car in a very short space of time. He is very mature for his age, displaying an understanding that goes beyond the time he has spent driving single-seaters. With Bianchi, who has been with us since last year, we used a car fitted with special sensors to study the correlation between the car on track and the simulator: many of his laps were what I'd call 'interlocutory' because the main aim of them was to acquire data."

Bianchi did 70 laps, the quickest being a 1.00.213. "We did a lot of laps and once again it was a very useful experience for me," said the Frenchman. "These laps all count a lot towards the future I'd like to have in Formula 1. Now, I'm looking forward to the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi and it will be very interesting to go from the 2009 car to the 2011 one, as it will be a good opportunity for me to try elements like DRS and KERS for the very first time."

Perez was naturally very enthusiastic about his first time in a Ferrari. "This was a really special day for me," said the Mexican. "I want to thank Ferrari for giving me this chance to improve and learn, given the limited number of testing opportunities during the year. Driving a Ferrari was a dream for me and it's also important for my career, learning with a team like this and experiencing a different approach to the work."

Asked about a possible future at Maranello, Perez said he still had a long way to go and was happy with his current drive for Sauber. "I think there is room for me to do well where I am and that's my current target. It's impossible to say how things will go and my dream is to become World Champion and it would be nice if it could happen with a team like this one. I have got a lot out of this time with the Ferrari Driver Academy. The work on the simulator, the meetings with the engineers are all things that will help me over the rest of the season and in general in the future."

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