Sergio Perez says he is eager to secure a strong result in Austin on what his set to be his 'most important weekend of the year'.
The Mexican, who now seems set to leave McLaren at the end of the season
, will be able to count on plenty of support from his home fans at the Circuit of the Americas, with a large number expected to make the trip across the border for the race weekend.
The 23-year-old will now hope to put the disappointment of the Abu Dhabi GP behind him and try to challenge for points as he looks to end his season on a high, with his aim in Texas being to try and push towards the top six places.
“Texas is on the border with Mexico, so the venue provides the perfect opportunity for many Mexicans to make the trip to Austin for a taste of Formula 1,” he said. “Last year, I was really overwhelmed by the level of Mexican support – you could see the grandstands full of Mexican flags, and the fans that I met were all really passionate, enthusiastic and knowledgeable.
“For me, this will be the most important weekend of my year, and I'll be especially keen for a strong result to send my fans back home with a smile on their faces. I think we've shown some solid improvement and greater understanding of our car over the past few races, yet, frustratingly, both Jenson and I have had few opportunities to really demonstrate what the car is capable of.
“I'd love another chance of a race like India, where I was able to push throughout the entire race and get some strong points for the team.”
Team boss Martin Whitmarsh meanwhile tipped Perez to respond to the levels of support he can expect to receive.
“For Checo, the weekend will be a busy and important one – it's the closest he gets to his home in Mexico, and he's naturally excited and looking forward to the amount of local support and expectation that will be focused on him across the weekend,” he said. “He will respond to it very well, I'm sure.”