• Australian Grand Prix - FP2

Perez did not expect to be so far off the pace

ESPN Staff
March 15, 2013 « Australian Grand Prix Qualifying | Lotus is closer to the front - Raikkonen »

Sergio Perez was not expecting McLaren to be quite as far off the pace as it was after the first day of the F1 season in Australia.

On his first day with the team at a grand prix weekend, Perez finished second practice 13th and 2.6s off the pace after McLaren struggled for downforce at Albert Park.

The team came to Australia playing down its chances, but when asked if he expected to be so far off the pace, he said: "Not this far off. We knew we were a bit off but not this much. We know this track does not suit the problems we are having so it will maximise the issues that we are having at the moment. But it is only the first day of the season and tomorrow anything can happen and we have a long championship ahead of us. Definitely we are not happy in the position that we are or the position that we left winter testing."

Elaborating on the problems, Perez said the car was very difficult to get a consistent lap out of at the Albert Park circuit.

"We are generally lacking front and rear downforce," he said. "It is not just over one axle, it is both. It's difficult to drive and difficult to extract the maximum because it's very inconsistent through the corners. We have to keep ourselves very positive because it is only the start of the season and we have such a long championship ahead of us. We saw last year with the Ferrari that they were able to fight until the last race without the best car. It's the approach that we've got to have and it's nice to see that the team is so united in these difficult moments."

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