Q & A: Perez on acclimatising to F1

For a few minutes today it looked like Sergio Perez had turned the pre-season formbook upside down with a remarkable time for Sauber on the opening day of the final test... But then it became clear that he had cut the chicane on his best lap

Q & A: Perez on acclimatising to F1

He was still fourth in the day one results, though, and he told AUTOSPORT he was very satisfied with how the build-up to his maiden Formula 1 season was progressing.

Q. You cut the chicane on the last lap. What happened there?

Sergio Perez: I was going too slow and decided to go fastest! No, I had some traffic, and I was short on time as well, so I tried to complete another lap because I was on new tyres. But I had some traffic, I think it was the Force India, so I had to cut the chicane.

Q. How do you feel now about the first grand prix?

SP: I am really looking forward to seeing where I am in Melbourne, because testing is a good experience, but I love to race. I get a lot more motivated when I am in a race weekend. So now I am looking forward to starting the season and being in a race weekend, and also to learning, because you learn a lot in qualifying and in the race situation. So I am looking forward to seeing where I am, and I am very confident that I will be quite competitive from my first outing.

Q. How ready is the car?

SP: I think we are getting there. I think we've got some good updates and we are getting there. Hopefully we can still do some work to improve the balance, but I am positive.

Q. Any idea where you fit in to that group of cars in the midfield?

SP: Not really. I don't think anybody has an idea. It's my first season in Formula 1, but what I hear from a lot of people is that nobody knows, and we don?t know where we are.

Q. Where would you like to be?

SP: I think I would be really happy if I could be top 10.

Q. Do you think that's realistic?

SP: I think it's achievable. I think we can achieve a top 10. This is our aim, to be in the points, and this is something we are aiming at.

Q. You have already spent a year racing against Kamui Kobayashi in GP2, so you have an idea of where you are compared to him in terms of pace. Will he be a benchmark for you this year?

SP: Of course. He will be my target, to beat him as soon as possible. I'm pretty sure it will take me some time, because Kamui is a very fast guy with quite a lot of experience - one year in Formula 1, and a few more as a test driver.

So he has experience, he knows exactly what he needs. So he has a big advantage over me, but I am confident that I will get there.

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