Sergio Perez I would not change anythingApril 18, 2019
Debuting in 2011 in Sauber, Sergio Perez quickly forced to talk about yourself. Two years later he got a chance at McLaren, but did not succeed and left the team. Recalling those events, the Mexican declared that he regretted nothing …
Sergio Perez: “In 2012, I was a student of the Ferrari Racing Academy and had to sign a contract for 2014. I had to spend another season in Sauber, and then go to Ferrari. I traveled to Maranello, negotiated with Stefano Domenicali – he offered me a preliminary contract for 2014.
In those days I was still young and eager for success. I was interested in Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren. I wanted to drive a competitive car and fight for the title. There was a chance at McLaren. Then this team won the race, fought for the titles of the previous five years – how could I refuse them? The choice was obvious. But I had to say goodbye to Ferrari, and I moved to McLaren.
My mistake was to sign a one-year contract – it is a pity that my managers did not achieve more. My partner was the world champion – Jenson Button. He spoke at the McLaren for a long time, and I joined the “his” team. But we failed – the car turned out slow, difficult to manage and unstable. That year we became the sixth team in speed and did not even go up to the podium.
Then I did not have enough experience, it was difficult for me to get the maximum from the car. Nevertheless, I beat Jenson Button in qualifications, losing him not so many points in the race, but this was not enough. We had too many political issues with Ron Dennis and Martin Whitmarsh. I got my chance on this team the wrong year. In the McLaren felt a huge pressure, the atmosphere was heavy. I lacked the support of the team, I did not feel comfortable and confident, as it is now.
In the McLaren I replaced Hamilton, and everyone waited for me to win the title, but the car did not allow to do this, it was difficult to adapt to it. She was unstable, her behavior changed in each race. We were preparing new items for each weekend, worked a lot with aerodynamics on Fridays, so I did not have the opportunity to get used to the car, and after the change of command it takes time to get started with everything. It seems then it is a little spoiled my reputation in Formula 1.
Then I quickly turned from the “next world champion” into a racer who can leave Formula 1. I asked myself the question of what I can do. It was a shame when at the end of the year Martin Whitmarsh called and said that he would not extend the contract. But after five minutes I calmed down and decided that even if the next few races will be my last, I don’t want to go to any team, just to stay in Formula 1. I want to win. I decided that if this was all over for me, then so be it. There is a reason for everything, and we must move on. There are many other racing series and other activities.
Then there was a chance in Force India, but it was a difficult contract, because Carlos Slim participated in the negotiations. I said: “Force India is a fantastic team, and I want to speak in it.” I remember that I had the second option in Caterham, but I did not want to go there. I need motivation. Although the transition to Force India was a step backwards, this team was eager for success and developed. I took the chance. But I was very lucky that he appeared.
What would happen if I now got a chance to go to McLaren? Of course, now I have a lot of experience in Formula 1. Now, I would completely differently work with the settings and prepare for the race. But there are reasons for everything. If it were not for that season in McLaren, now I would be a completely different person. I would not change anything. I truly believe that nothing in life happens just like that. ”
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