New Force India signing Sergio Perez shares his excitement for the upcoming Formula One season...
Q: A new season, new rules, and a new team - how excited are you about 2014?
SP: "I'm very excited. I'm joining a new team at a time when Formula One 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."
Q: What are you early impressions of Sahara Force India?
SP: "I find the team very hungry for success. 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."
Q: Is that because the rule changes create a fresh start for everyone?
SP: "Exactly, 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."
Q: Will reliability be one of the key factors early on?
SP: "Yes, I think so. Not only that, also the fuel management and how we maximise everything. The tyres are also going to be a factor. 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."
Q: You gained valuable experience with McLaren. Do you think you can bring something extra to the team this year?
SP: "Definitely, I've got good experience from my Sauber days and also now from McLaren. The experience of 2013 made me a better driver, more complete in many areas, and I'm really hungry for success. I will be giving my maximum and I'm sure that people will be surprised by what I can do in 2014. 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. Together with the team we will all be working very hard to have the success that we all want to have."
Q: Are you the kind of driver who can easily adapt and change his style?
SP: "This is Formula One and you always have to change your style. When you change teams you have to change your style; you have to adapt to a different car, and I think I'm good at that. I see no reason why I cannot take the best out of it."
Q: You have a new team mate in Nico. Are you looking forward to working with him?
SP: "I think we are pretty close in terms of experience. I rate him very highly; he's one of the best drivers out there, and it will be very interesting to work with him and to learn from him. You can always learn from your team mate. I've been very lucky in the past to have strong team mates, and Nico is obviously going to be very competitive. I'm looking forward to working together with him."
Q: What do you see as a realistic target for you and the team this year?
SP: "It's very difficult to know, especially with the new regulations, a new car and a new team for me. All I can say is the team is working very hard and we're going to do our best to arrive in Melbourne as well prepared as possible. We're going to be giving 100% straight away from the first race."
Q: Finally, can you explain your choice of number?
SP: "It's the number I've been using all my career since karting. I've enjoyed having number 11, so I went for it, and luckily I ended up getting it as my first choice. I will be wearing it the rest of my career, except when I win the World Championship, when I will be wearing number one!"
Source: Force India