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Perez open to offers

NEWS STORY
02/06/2016

Without doubt, one of the true stars of Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix was Sergio Perez, the Mexican using canny strategy and his undoubted skills to bring the Force India home in third ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

The result promoted Perez to ninth in the driver standings and his team to fifth in the constructors', the same position it finished last season.

Monaco marked the third successive race in which Perez has scored points, and as he seeks to rise up the standings he is also looking ahead to 2017 and the hope that one of the bigger teams might be paying attention.

"I am proud of what I have achieved with the tools that I've got in the past," he told the official F1 website, "I think my podium finishes speak for themselves. That is how my career should be measured.

"I am at the top of my game right at the moment," he continued. "I have improved a lot as a driver since I came into Formula One and I hope that one day I will be able to lay my hands on a competitive car to show what I can do."

Asked in what areas he feels he has improved, he is in no doubt: "Qualifying," he replies. "My race pace and how I look after the tyres has also improved. Actually in all aspects of racing! But the biggest single factor compared to last season is my much better qualifying performance."

Following an indifferent start to the season, Russia marked the first point scoring finish of the season. Why the turnaround since Sochi?

"Let's stick with Monaco for a moment," says the Mexican. "It was fantastic! At my first attempt to tame that track with an F1 car in 2010 it almost cost my life - and now 2016 I was on the podium! I always knew that I had unfinished business with this circuit.

"What has changed since Russia; there is more to it than only getting lucky since Sochi. I had a good start all along but I was pretty unlucky at the first three races. When you take the pace of our car we pretty much need everything to go perfect to get into the points and already a little irritation can ruin that.

"The last three weekends were simply going smoother, there you have it. In Russia I had a better result, then Spain was more than the maximum we could pull off, and now Monaco, where in a difficult and messy race everything worked perfectly for me. That is a pretty steep curve. And luck stayed with me... finally!"

Whilst the podiums in Monaco, Sochi 2015, Bahrain 2014 and Montreal 2012, represent the highs, McLaren's decision to drop him after just one season must mark the low. Indeed, he must surely empathise with Daniil Kvyat.

"I can understand very well," he admits. "You lose a lot of motivation and self-confidence. You fear that your career is over before it has even started properly. But then you pick your remains up again and you start to appreciate things much more... as also in my case everything happened so fast and I was very young.

"You also get relaxed much more," he continues. "I think Fernando is a good example about being more relaxed. Nobody sacked him but the fact is he was racing at the front many years and now suddenly the midfield is the most that's possible. Yes, you suffer as a driver, but you also get more relaxed about it. So I wait! I want to be in a top team - no actually I want to be in a top car. I have been in a top team but they didn't have a top car...

Whereas the driver market was pretty stagnant at the end of 2015, there are likely to be a number of vacancies for next season. Indeed, the Mexican has been linked with a number of teams including Ferrari.

"Of course you watch things very carefully, and also look into the rumours!" he admits. "And of course you let any big team know that you are available.

"The best way to do it is delivering good results and that I am doing. So if an opportunity comes I am open!

"If you don't show good results you can knock a hundred times at those doors and there is never somebody at home," he says of the big teams, "so results first! That Monaco podium came at just the right time and the right place!"

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by jackois, 03/06/2016 7:58

"He's generally very good at making his tyres last. Unfortunately, that generally just means being a mobile chicane."

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2. Posted by White Lightning, 02/06/2016 14:06

"I like the guy, but he blew his chance unfortunately."

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