Sergio Perez says he feels he can fight for a podium finish in the Canadian Grand Prix on what will be his race debut in Montreal.
The Mexican was forced to miss the race last season after feeling dizzy in the opening practice session, which was his first time back in a car after suffering concussion in a qualifying accident in Monaco.
The Sauber driver will hope for better luck this time around as he returns to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and he said he was confident of being able to challenge for a second podium finish of the year – having starred in Malaysia earlier this season.
“Because after the accident I could not race here, so I had to go back home after FP1,” he said. “Hopefully this weekend can be a lot better. I think we have a very competitive car and we can fight for a podium here.
“I think it's just a matter of putting everything together. We have enough speed, we have had very unlucky races since Malaysia. Like China, for example. The only weekend we didn't have the speed was in Bahrain. We had a lot of degradation. All the other weekends, Barcelona I was in fourth place but then I had a puncture; Monaco in qualifying we had the speed to fight for a win, I think, but then we had a problem with the steering wheel and I just went straight.
“I think the speed is there and everything is there and it's just a matter of luck. We have been very unlucky in the last few races.”
Perez added that he felt Sauber could spring a surprise result again before the season is over due to the close nature of the grid this season, which has led to six different winners in six races so far.
“I think anyone can win a race,” he said. “You never what will happen in any race, so there is always the chance for every driver to have a nice surprise. I think especially this year, most of the top teams and also the middle teams are really close together, so it can be a surprise like it has happened this year with Pastor winning, so some others might come during the year.”