May 19, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT
He may be in his third season of Formula One and driving for one of the biggest teams in the sport, but Sergio Perez is yet to score any points at the Monaco Grand Prix; a streak he hopes to end next weekend during F1’s annual visit to the principality.
“Monaco is a great challenge for the drivers,” Perez said in a team statement. “It’s the only circuit on the calendar where you have to build up your speed during practice, rather than going flat-out on lap one. You push a little bit harder with every lap, getting a bit closer to the barriers each time.”
Like many of his colleagues, Perez spoke about the special atmosphere at Monaco, with the race attracting a raft of A-list celebrities and superstars.
“It’s not just the track that makes Monaco special; it’s the atmosphere as well. The grandstands are closer to the track here than anywhere else on the calendar and that gives us a very close connection to the spectators. The huge grandstand between Tabac and the Swimming Pool can get pretty noisy when it’s full, which is great.”
Perez finished P11 at last year’s race after starting on the back row following an accident in qualifying. In 2011, he had a similar accident, but the nature of it meant that he suffered from concussion which caused him to miss the race.
“Last year was my first Monaco Grand Prix. I missed out on a World Championship point by one position and I’m looking to change that this year. The MP4-28 is improving, as we introduce upgrades and understand its performance better. It was more driveable in Spain a couple of weeks ago, particularly on light tanks. That will be vital in Monaco because qualifying is very important.”
Like his teammate, Perez is hoping to continue to make progress with the MP4-28, and he drove well to finish P9 last time out in Spain. With overtaking opportunities limited in Monaco though, a good qualifying will be crucial if the Mexican driver is to score his first points during F1’s “jewel in the crown” event.
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