Sergio Perez says he is ready and raring to go for his second season in F1, with the Mexican admitting that a year of experience will allow him to focus more on performance when the action gets underway in Melbourne next weekend.
Perez finished inside the top ten in Australia last year thanks to a bold strategy call that saw him elect to only pit once, although a technical infringement saw both Sauber cars excluded from the results.
Despite admitting he was affected more than he thought at the time by his accident in Monaco, which forced him to miss to races, Perez impressed with his pace during 2011 and goes into the new season eager to help Sauber be regular contenders for points and he said he was heading to Australia buoyed by the progress made during winter testing.
“I just can't wait to go racing again,” he said. “My feelings ahead of this season are quite different to last year, when everything was entirely new to me. Now, with one season in Formula One under my belt, I feel physically and mentally capable of doing the job.
“One year of experience isn't that much, but even this will allow me to focus more on performance than I was able to last year. I got used to a variety of circumstances which come along when you are a Formula One driver. This goes for procedures and communication inside the team, but it also includes that I found a good personal life balance with all the travelling.
“My target for 2012 is to make the most of the car in every given situation and to fully establish myself in Formula One. We have made really good progress during testing and learnt a lot about the new car. Nevertheless, the track in Melbourne can still come up with surprises. Last year, for example, we would never have expected it was possible to get away with only one pit stop for the race distance because testing suggested higher tyre wear.
“We will see how we manage the first Grand Prix and, although the track in Melbourne is a special one and not that representative, we will get a first indication of where we are with the C31 in terms of performance.”