Sergio Perez is targeting a podium or better at Monaco, still loves the track despite his crash their last season and pledges to stick with Sauber through the season, he says in an exclusive Q&A with the official Formula 1 site.
Link is right here. A few key parts:
Q: You gained a reputation as something of a ‘tyre whisperer’. How is your relationship with the Pirellis now? Are the whispers falling on deaf ears?
SP: Ha, the tyres… We have all learned by now that they play an extremely important role this season and, of course, I try to understand them as best as I can together with my engineers to sort out the car together with the tyres according to the needs of the respective track. But it is not only about making the tyres work. You have to be able to make them last that pinch longer than the rest – that’s the trick.
Q: So what is it that makes the tyres so much more of a mystery than last year?
SP: There is substantially more degradation than 2011 – and you have to understand to what point they can keep up with the speed and at what point they are over the top. This can be one lap – even less – so you have to listen to them and not vice versa. Generally I have to admit that this year’s car is harder on the tyres than last year’s, so it’s a case of keeping your ears open and your eyes peeled. (laughs)
Q: The rumours about you switching to Ferrari mid season continue, especially after the Italian team’s increasingly public comments on Felipe Massa’s lack of performance. Is there any change from your side in this whole discussion?
SP: No, not at all. And should that situation really come about I would reject it as I would not want to make a switch in the middle of a season. I think all this hype about a possible switch is massively blown up by the media.
Q: But the saying also goes that where there is smoke there must also be fire…
SP: Rumours – nothing more. I believe that Felipe will bounce back and do a good job. He is a strong driver and he has a great team behind him. Once he’s bounced back all these stories will die at once.
Q: Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn said not so long ago that you will stay where you are for the duration of your contract. On the other hand, the wishes of a team’s engine supplier are hard to ignore. Have there been internal discussions at Sauber?
SP: I think that people should not mix up engines and drivers. These sort of rumours have been around for quite a while and, of course, I have a connection to Ferrari, to their driver academy of Ferrari. But my position is clear: I am driving for Sauber and I will remain here.
Q: Taking your history, the car and the tyres into consideration, what would be your dream result for your first race here?
SP: I would go home satisfied with a podium – or a victory! (laughs)
Well, there you have it. I’m frankly not sure that Ferrari doesn’t have its eyes more on Pastor Maldonado at this point, but Sergio certainly is about as firm as a Formula 1 driver gets when responding to rumors. Does that mean he wouldn’t move? No. But I can’t imagine that a mid-season move — unless, seriously, Felipe Massa scores no points and there really are no extenuating circumstances — is going to happen. It took Massa’s accident to make that happen before; dumping Kimi Raikkonen was a post-season deal.