Sauber's Sergio Perez, having emigrated to a small German town from Guadalajara in Mexico as a teenager, is confident about racing in his second home during this weekend's German Grand Prix.
Sergio Perez explains his German connection
Sauber's Sergio Perez, having emigrated to a small German town from Guadalajara in Mexico as a teenager, is confident about racing in his second home during this weekend's German Grand Prix. The Mexican rookie finished seventh at Silverstone earlier this month, banishing any lingering doubt that his accident at Monaco will have any long-term effect, and he says he is ready to maintain the momentum.
At the last grand prix, at Silverstone, you achieved your best result of the season finishing seventh. What are your thoughts on the weekend ahead here at the Nurburgring?
I was very happy to get back and I hope to carry the momentum through the rest of the season. It will be a difficult weekend, with difficult conditions, but I am confident we can do a good job. It will be a bit like Silverstone - raining then drying up - and it will be interesting to see if we can get the best out of the car in the conditions. We are positive it can be a good circuit for us. Not as good as Silverstone, but good nonetheless.
Can you finish in the top 10?
Qualifying is getting better and better. I hope for a mix of conditions, but if we get a dry race, definitely we can be in a good position for the points.
Ferrari announced you will be taking part in a testing session with them later this year. How did that come about?
In the middle of the season, my priority is Sauber, but as I am part of Ferrari's driver academy it was already programmed for me to go and do some days. Of course, it is always important for me to drive a second car and for a second team - and such a team like Ferrari is always very good. But for me it is about learning more. During one test you cannot show how good or how bad you are, but it is important for me to learn how a team like Ferrari works.
When you moved to Germany from Mexico at age 15, it was the first time you had left your home country. Arriving here must have been quite a culture shock?
Yeah, I was 15 and lived in Vilsbiburg in Bavaria. It's about 40km from Munich. I don't know if it's even on the map, it's a small village. Of course, it was difficult because I had to leave my home at such a young age and I came to Germany alone. It was not easy to live in such a small place; I did not know anyone. When I look back, I feel very proud of myself to achieve one of my dreams and become a Formula One driver. To look back and have these memories is very nice for me.
Can you remember any of the German language?
[Laughs] Very little. "Ich bin Checo" (I am Checo) and "alles kaput" (everything is broken).