x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

End of an era at Sauber for Sergio Perez

Formula One driver cannot wait to join McLaren and challenge for the title next year.

Sergio Perez will join Jenson Button at McLaren next year. Luca Bruno / AP Photo
Sergio Perez will join Jenson Button at McLaren next year. Luca Bruno / AP Photo

Sergio Perez, the 22-year-old Mexican, takes part in his final race with Sauber this weekend in Sao Paulo as he prepares to embark on a new challenge with McLaren-Mercedes. He speaks to the media in Brazil.

This is your last race with the team you started in Formula One with and you took them all to dinner on Thursday. How are you feeling?

Well, I feel very happy. It's been two good, successful years and now I look forward to ending my career with Sauber with the very best result possible.

Are you disappointed you haven't been able to score more points of late? You haven't finished in the top 10 since the announcement you will drive for McLaren was made in late September.

Definitely. I would have liked to have scored more points than I have done of late, but maybe this weekend I can score points in a very big way. It is easy to link that issue with the McLaren contract, but that is not the case.

When will you join up with your new team and are you ready for the intensity of it?

Very early January. As a driver, you are looking for a great challenge and they are the best Formula One team in the world. Preparation will be intense and it is a year of adaptation, but we will try to do it as well as possible: to fight for the title straight away and to win the championship next year.

It is easy to say you would like to win the championship, but is it possible? Do you honestly believe you have the experience?

Definitely. I'm going to the best team and the best team normally wins, so that's the target. This year, they have had many reliability issues, but if they can solve that we can fight for the title. I think it is realistic. The target has to be high, that is how McLaren think. We want to win very race.

gmeenaghan@thenational.ae

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