Sergio Perez to treat Austin like home race
Mexican rookie Sergio Perez looked ahead to 2012 after being confirmed at Sauber for next season and picked out the new US Grand Prix as like a "home race" given the huge amount of his countrymen likely to attend.
Budapest: Mexican rookie Sergio Perez looked ahead to 2012 after being confirmed at Sauber for next season and picked out the new US Grand Prix as like a "home race" given the huge amount of his countrymen likely to attend.
The 21-year-old has picked up eight points so far in his debut Formula One season, finishing in front of seven-times champion Michael Schumacher when coming home seventh at the British Grand Prix this month.
Next year brings the return of the US Grand Prix at a new track in Austin in Texas, which has a large Mexican community and is just three hours away from Perez`s home city of Guadalajara.
"I think it is going to be full of Mexicans. It`s going to be a very nice grand prix for me. It`s almost my home race," a fresh-faced Perez told reporters in an interview at a rainy Hungaroring.
"I get a lot of support from Mexicans, I think I`m one of the most popular (sportsmen there) at the moment because I`m in the top level of my sport."
He will definitely get the chance to race in Austin after Thursday`s announcement before Sunday`s Hungarian Grand Prix that he and Japanese team mate Kamui Kobayashi are staying for next season.
"It`s always nice to know my future so it was very nice to know that I will stay in my team. I`m looking forward for a very strong second half of the season and prepare very good for the 2012 season," Perez added.
"It`s not easy to come here and be quick straight away. I`ve done a good job I think and it`s getting better every time."
Austin would be great for Perez but what he really craves with the sport expanding its horizons annually is Formula One returning to Mexico, which has not held a grand prix since 1992.
"Of course it would be very nice to do a race in Mexico, this is my dream. Since I left I have never done a race in Mexico. It would be very special for me to race in Mexico."
Perez, praised by team boss Peter Sauber for the way he dealt with a serious crash at Monaco, hopes to have proved that he is not only in Formula One because he can bring in Latin American sponsors as some critics have alleged.
The shy man is also planning big things and believes he can start winning races for Sauber despite the team being very much a second tier outfit this year.
"I think it is normal that when we have such a sponsor behind us, everyone links you to it and says you are just going into Formula One because they are paying," he said.
"I don`t think it is the case for me or all the drivers in Formula One. To get into Formula One...you have to have speed anyway.”
"I`m a very competitive person and I don`t see myself in three more years just fighting for points, I want to win. In 2012 we can get closer with Sauber and if we get closer to fight with the big guys I don`t see a reason to change where I am."