Mexico City: Force India Formula One team driver Sergio “Checo” Perez said a top-three finish in the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday was unrealistic but assured that he would come up with a better performance.
“Let’s be realistic. Under normal conditions, (achieving a podium finish) is impossible,” Perez said, while addressing a press conference outside the Soumaya Museum here on Wednesday.
Perez noted that he was currently in seventh place in the Formula One drivers’ championship standings with 84 points, three ahead of Williams’ driver Valtteri Bottas, and so his goal is to post a better result than last year’s eighth-place finish, reports Efe.
Perez said Force India had an outstanding year in 2016, adding that “we’re fourth (in the constructors’ championship standings) because we deserve it.”
He said he was particularly motivated to perform well in front of his home fans at the Hermanos Rodriguez Autodrome here, which will host the 19th race on the 21-race F1 calendar.
“I was expecting a lot, but what I saw last year was 100 times more incredible,” he said of a race that marked F1’s return to Mexico after a 23-year absence.
The Mexican driver said he felt he could go toe-to-toe with any F1 driver “as long as he had the same conditions,” referring to the technological edge enjoyed by the drivers racing for top constructors Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari.
Although Perez has downplayed his chances of a podium finish in Sunday’s race, he was placed third at this year’s edition of both the Monaco Grand Prix and the European Grand Prix.