22 January 2014
Force India F1 2014 launch: Perez aiming to surprise
After a difficult year with McLaren, Sergio Perez is ready to bounce back with Force India F1 in 2014.
Sergio Perez believes that, along with Sahara Force India, he can raise a few eyebrows when the 2014 F1 campaign gets underway.
Although the Mexican is now entering his fourth year in the top flight, he moves on to his third team after a frustrating 2013 season at McLaren failed to yield a podium finish, let alone the championship challenge he had been predicting, and Perez is keen to make the move to Force India work for both parties.
Replaced in Woking by rookie Kevin Magnussen, the former GP2 Series runner-up – who turns 24 on Sunday – is hoping that the wholesale change in regulations will give his new team a chance to take the fight to the established F1 powerhouses.
“I'm very excited,” he admitted, “I'm joining a new team at a time when F1 is entering an exciting new era, so I think that gives us good chance of doing well.
“It will be very important that we work very hard during winter testing to understand how everything works and how we are going to get the best out of the package that we have. I think that's the most important target for the testing, [as] it's a very big opportunity for us, as a smaller team, to really do well, especially in the first few races. We must make sure that we arrive in Australia in the best possible position. It will be quite interesting to see what happens in Jerez and especially in Bahrain in the second and the third tests, where we will get a better idea of how things are working.”
Having spent the early part of 2013 battling with the very team he has now joined, Perez is well aware of Force India's potential, and he is keen to build on that as, despite matching Jenson Button last season, he attempts to rebuild a slightly dented reputation.
“I find the team very hungry for success,” he enthused, “They've had some good years in the past, but they are looking to move forward and fight against the top teams. I think this year is the biggest opportunity to do that.
“The experience of 2013 made me a better driver, more complete in many areas, and I'm really hungry for success too. I'm coming from a very difficult season with McLaren, with a very difficult car, but I'm very confident that I will be quite strong. I will be giving my maximum and I'm sure that people will be surprised by what I can do in 2014.”
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