Sergio Perez believes he can have the best season of his Formula 1 career this year following major investment from Racing Point.
The takeover from a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll was finalized in the summer of 2018, but financial uncertainty prior to that had hurt the development of last year’s car. Strong upgrades ensured Perez was able to finish at the front of the midfield in Abu Dhabi at the end of last season, and with a full year of work on the 2020 car aided by the additional resources, Perez wants to beat his previous best tally of 101 points and two podiums in 2016.
“Big targets for this year,” Perez said. “I really hope that this will be my best-ever season in Formula 1, that I beat all the other years in terms of results. That will be the target for the season.
“I think being best of the rest will be very tough. Competition out there will be very big, but I’m sure that we can fight for that. I think we had a very strong second half of the season so I see no reason why we can’t start strong in Melbourne this year.
“It should be a good improvement for us (on 2019). Obviously it’s all related to what others are able to do, but we are confident at the moment and we are in a much better place than we ever were for the start of the season, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Perez has already committed his future to Racing Point by signing a long-term contract prior to the announcement that the team will become Aston Martin in 2021, and says it is a show of faith in the team’s abilities.
“I knew what this team was capable of in the past with a big lack of resources, and I knew what was going on behind the scenes,” he said. “Next year we will be becoming a factory team, and also what’s going on right now in terms of budgets and how things are falling in place.
“We already showed last year what we were able to do, even starting off from a difficult year. This is the year that we have to make a good step. I think everyone is very confident right now, but I hope after Barcelona everyone is still very confident.”
The Aston Martin development has been one of the major storylines in F1 over the winter, but Perez says thoughts of 2021 – when there will also be significant regulation changes – shouldn’t overshadow what Racing Point can achieve this year.
“That is a huge step, to all of a sudden become a factory team with such an iconic brand,” he said. “I think it’s just great. It’s another big step in the right direction for the team, and this year we’re going to see big results from us.
“Obviously right now everyone is very confident, but hopefully once we are in Melbourne we are able to show to ourselves that we have done good work over the last [few] years, because this car is the work of so many years in the team. The team has gone through very difficult periods, and I hope finally this car is the one we’ve been waiting for.”