Sergio Pérez heads to Singapore with a new three-year deal with Racing Point in his pocket, the Mexican staying with the Silverstone-based squad through into F1’s new era… and the end of 2022.
And he’ll be looking to put on a far more polished performance in Marina Bay, with 2018’s edition more demolition derby than Grand Prix glamour.
Pérez tagging then-teammate Esteban Ocon into the barrier at Turn 3 on Lap 1, bringing out the safety car…
Then on Lap 34, the Mexican crashed into Williams’ Sergey Sirotkin - as the pair battled for 13th, out of Turn 17. Pérez had to pit with a puncture, and finished 16th, his reputation taking a beating.
“It’s a weekend to forget and I am really sorry for what happened and the points we have lost today,” he said.
The Mexican flies into Singapore this year with plenty of optimism, though, and beyond the new contract - with two-straight points finishes behind him - and the finishing touches of a major upgrade to his car.
…almost adding up to a B-spec, to help it fight Toro Rosso for sixth in the constructors’ standings - five points the gap.
Pérez ended last season well, despite the destruction in Singapore - with points at five of the last seven races. Ocon scored at just two. Russia and Japan. His final tally 62 points to Ocon’s 49.
The Mexican understanding the challenge of a long F1 season, a record 22-round championship coming in 2020.
SOUNDBITE (English) SERGIO PÉREZ,
F1 DRIVER, RACING POINT:
“I always say it doesn’t really matter where you start, it’s where you finish. And this team has done really well in the past.”
It’s a saying that has held Pérez in good stead, and one he’ll be hoping to again prove true as he looks for a strong end to the season.
… starting this weekend in Singapore.