Sergio Perez insists he is more motivated than ever about joining the Formula 1 grid in 2011 after making his Sauber debut in the Young Driver test in Abu Dhabi.
Perez turned his first laps in an F1 car during the second day of the test and posted the sixth quickest time.
Admitting there was a world of difference between the F1 car and the GP2 machine he has campaigned in recent seasons, Perez insisted that he first taste of F1 had left him wanting more.
“My motivation to work on both areas has even increased,” he replied when asked how he felt both mentally and physically after the test. “I have a few months now to get ready for my first Formula One Grand Prix and I will make the most of it.
“The biggest difference to a GP2 car is in braking – the g-forces are huge. Also the grip level of the F1 car is unbelievably high compared to a GP2 car. Another major difference is the amount of information and procedures you have to deal with. The team is a lot bigger, with many engineers around you asking for feedback. To learn to work in this environment and to see what they expect from a driver, in and out of the car, was the most important thing I learned during this first day.
“The fact that I had already a signed a contract for next year helped a lot in this regard. I was not under pressure to do a super lap time, I could concentrate on learning. The programme over the course of the day was not aimed at producing the best possible lap times. In fact, because of some bad luck with red flags I only had one run on fresh tyres in the end.”
Perez will now go into an extensive fitness programme over the winter and also confirmed that he plans to move closer to the Sauber base in Hinwil to enable him work closely with the team as much as possible.
“[I'll be] training like hell!” he said. “I need to be as fit as possible for the first race. And I will be spending a lot of time with the engineers in Hinwil to try to learn as much as possible about the C30. In January I will be moving to Switzerland to be as close as possible to the team.”