By Josh Kruse

Interview conducted on the Thursday before the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Crash.net:
Hi Sergio, this is the best start to a season for you so far, what do you think has made it successful?

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Sergio Perez:
I think the team. When I look back, I remember the start of the season we were probably one of the slowest teams in the field, and we still managed to achieve great results. Since then we have developed the car and so on, now we are one of the forces in the field, so I'm really happy and confident about the start of the season. Still, there's 12 or so races to go, so there's a long way to go.

Crash.net:
What do you think has made the difference? Momentum from last year maybe?

Sergio Perez:
Yeah, I think being with the team for so long it definitely helps the confidence, helps the environment and that makes things a lot easier and a lot better for us.

Crash.net:
What is your goal personally for the end of this season?

Sergio Perez:
To have maximised every single weekend, to have maximised every opportunity that the team gives me, and if I do that I'll be happy.

Crash.net:
No particular position in mind? Just maximising weekends?

Sergio Perez:
Just to maximise, because you never know how the season will unfold and evolve for the next races.

Crash.net:
Given your recent form has been really good, have any top teams been in contact with you?

Sergio Perez:
No, not so far. I think it's still early in the season, but I certainly think that I've been doing a good job. We'll see if that phone call comes!

Crash.net:
Going away from current F1 and back to your early days, what was your first memory of motorsport?

Sergio Perez:
Probably watching my first race with my Dad. It was actually when Ayrton had his accident and died, that was my first race. I was quite young, that's my first memory of motorsport.

Crash.net:
So what made you choose to get into a go kart?

Sergio Perez:
Yeah I was quite young, and I just started in karting to have fun, and once I realised it was getting a lot more professional for me, since then it's been step by step, but it's great to look back.

Crash.net:
How old were you when you first hopped into a kart, and how old when you began racing?

Sergio Perez:
I was six when I first started karting, and then at the age of 11 was when I started to really do it professionally.

Crash.net:
How did you mix your racing career with school? Obviously, it's a struggle for most drivers...

Sergio Perez:
It's very difficult, you know in this business, especially for me coming from Mexico I had to go to Europe at the age of 15. It's been hard to leave all of your family and all of your friends, all your childhood in your country, it's not easy. You have to cope with it and give it your best shot, and try to follow your dreams.

Crash.net:
What were your best and worst subjects?

Sergio Perez:
I always did well on the training side and that kind of thing, football, I've always been a sporty guy since I was young. Probably the worst I'm not sure, I just didn't love school, so I was never good at doing homework!

Crash.net:
What was the hardest part about moving to Europe, aside from leaving your family? Were there extra challenges that you were faced with that were different to Mexico?

Sergio Perez:
Definitely, not having your people around you, when you have a free day basically I was all on my own. There's not a lot to do, very lonely days, you know? After the weekend of racing I was quite lonely and that was the hardest part for me.

Crash.net:
So no one came over with you?

Sergio Perez:
It was just me.

Crash.net:
What do you think you might be doing if you weren't an F1 driver?

Sergio Perez:
Something related to sport I think. I quite like sport, trying to help out the athletes or something.

Crash.net:
Your season with McLaren, you keep saying that it was a big learning experience, what exactly did you learn that you implement into your driving today?

Sergio Perez:
I think I've always had speed since I came to Formula 1. But knowing why you are quick and why you are slow, what happens weekend after weekend, makes a huge difference to your season and to your career in Formula 1.

That's something I figured out what went wrong and I analysed really carefully what happened at my time with McLaren, why it went so wrong.

Firstly, it was because we had a really bad car, secondly because my experience was not as it is now, I was not so analytical. So that side improved a lot. Now, I understand why I'm quick, why I'm slow, and why I have to do things to be quick. When I have a problem, I'm getting out of it quicker than the past, so I think that has improved a lot.

Crash.net:
Is that down to experience or does that maybe come with age?

Sergio Perez:
I think it's experience. Experience and probably not having the right guidance at the time.

Crash.net:
What do you like to do to get away from Formula 1 and relax?

Sergio Perez:
I try to separate my life a lot from my profession. It's not easy, I always keep thinking, but once I leave I always try to be a normal man after here. I like to play football, I'm just a 27-year-old boy, if I'm at home or in Europe or wherever, I try to do normal stuff, follow my routines, my job, but I try to be as normal as possible and that helps me to forget that I'm a Formula 1 driver.

Crash.net:
Favourite movie?

Sergio Perez:
Man on fire.

Crash.net:
Favourite music?

Sergio Perez:
Mexican pop.

Crash.net:
What was the first "treat yourself" present you bought when you became an established racing driver?

Sergio Perez:
A watch, I always buy watches when a certain important occasion for me happens. Because I like to keep that memory with me.

Crash.net:
So you would have a few watches by now?

Sergio Perez:
Yeah, I have a couple of watches with me that represents something.

Crash.net:
What was the first one you remember buying?

Sergio Perez:
The first one was when I actually got my first-ever bonus for being on the podium in the lower categories.

Crash.net:
Top three circuits from any racing series?

Sergio Perez:
I like Zandvoort. I like Monaco, and I like Baku.

Crash.net:
Any circuits that you would like to add to the calendar?

Sergio Perez:
Imola, I'd love to race there because I've never raced there. I think Imola would be nice.

Crash.net:
Who was the most difficult or satisfying driver you have raced against in any category?

Sergio Perez:
Probably my team-mates, because in this sport you are always competing against your team-mates, that's your first reference. I've had really good team-mates in the past.

Crash.net:
What are you top three emojis?

Sergio Perez:
The smile face that cries, the good luck thumbs up, and probably the 'please' one (praying hands)

Crash.net:
And finally, what's the worst joke that you know?

Sergio Perez:
I'm always joking around with my friends, I have plenty of jokes that I've done in past, but I'm not so good at the 'bad' jokes in English!

Crash.net:
Thanks very much Sergio!

Sergio Perez:
No problem.