Sergio Perez is determined to erase the frustration of last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix
as the F1 circus makes its last European stop of 2013.
Next weekend's Italian Grand Prix
will take the Mexican back to scene of one of his greatest races in the top flight, and Perez is hoping that a little of that magic will rub off on his hitherto disappointing 2013 campaign.
Even before he joined McLaren, the 23-year old's results took a downturn, ending 2012 without a score in the final six races, but he then found himself saddled with a car that even team boss Martin Whitmarsh was a mistake borne out the determination to do something different to the opposition.
Like team-mate Jenson Button, Perez has yet to make the podium in 2013, a far cry from the trio of top three performances he pulled out last year – a record including a stirring run to second spot at Monza.
“Monza is probably the most beautiful circuit in F1 – it's just so historic and, from the moment you arrive, you can feel it's just different from any other place we visit – and I had one of my best races in F1 [there] last year,” he recalled.
“Everything came right on Sunday afternoon, I looked after the tyres beautifully and overtook Fernando Alonso
on my way to finishing second, which equals my best-ever result in the sport. That was a fantastic day.”
Now, nearly twelve months on from that moment, the Mexican sits twelfth in the points – two spots lower
than he achieved with Sauber in 2012 – and eager to atone for the error which saw his chances of a points finish at Spa-Francorchamps dented by a drive-thru' penalty.
“After the disappointment of Spa, where we had the pace to score points, I'm keen to get another shot,” he insisted, “As in Hungary and Belgium, we don't expect to have a car that'll be capable of fighting right at the front, but I hope we'll be scrapping for points positions.
“That's always fun, because then it's really down to the team and the driver to maximise every opportunity on the day. When you're racing hard like that, a good lap in quali or a clever strategy in the race can make all the difference to your result – and that's great to experience. So, as always, I'll be looking to push on every lap.”