Sergio Perez has said that the Sauber F1 team needs to be more efficient through the second half of the 2012 season if it is to take advantage of the close competition throughout the field.
Although the Mexican has taken a brace of podium finishes in his second season with the team - finishing runner-up to Fernando Alonso in Malaysia and making a one-stop strategy work with third place in Canada - he believes that the Swiss outfit could have had more results of similar stature - a fact that team-mate Kamui Kobayashi echoes when suggesting that he, too, would like a top three finish.
With all F1 facilities shutting down for two weeks as part of the sport's traditional summer break, Perez is hoping that Sauber can bounce back from a disappointing Hungarian Grand Prix, in which neither driver scored, to continue its quest for sixth in the constructors' standings. While a faltering Mercedes, just 26 points ahead, is not out of reach, Perez and Kobayashi will be mindful that both Williams and Force India are similar margins behind. Ironically, before Budapest, Sauber racked up its best combined haul of the season by taking 20 points from Hockenheim, and the efficiency that Perez seeks comes from off-track performance that could keep it in the points.
“I had some great moments in the first half of the season, as there were the two podiums in Malaysia and Montreal, which, of course, made me very happy," he reflected, "Nevertheless, it was also a period with ups and downs because we didn't make the most of every situation.
“We need to be more efficient and I want to contribute to that. It is not that our performance was not consistent, but we didn't always get the things right - and also we have been unlucky sometimes. We have to get everything together and make the most out of what we have. I think we are having a great season in F1 this year. The teams are very close together, and this enables more teams and drivers than before to fight for a podium or even a win.”
Perez clearly does not lack confidence, and is ready to push for the top step should the opportunity arise.
“Having a lot more experience now compared to my rookie season makes me much more confident in many respects," he concluded, "I think I am a lot better than I was when I entered F1 and this goes especially for when it comes to making decisions with the team.
“For the first two weeks in August, I will go with my family to a quiet place in the US. The other two weeks I will be using to prepare myself for the second half of the season, because I want to come back strong. The car is quick and, for me, my first victory would be a dream come true.”