Sergio Perez: “Our time will come”

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Sergio Perez has found rough waters so far in his first season with McLaren. Hampered by an underachieving car, the Mexican driver has collected just two points so far this Formula One season and has even been urged by McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh to “toughen up” against his rivals on the track.

But while acknowledging the difficulties he currently faces, the man they call “Checo” is confident that the Woking gang is heading for a turnaround.

“It is no secret that we are not performing at the level that we want to, so we are all disappointed,” Perez told the series’ official website, Formula1.com. “We are ambitious and are here to win and we are far from doing that at the moment, so of course, you look for reasons and blame. But we are all confident that our time will come, that success is probably waiting just around the corner.”

Perez’s three podiums for Sauber last year had many tagging him as a potential star, and those predictions were fueled further upon his jump to McLaren to race alongside former World Champion Jenson Button. With things not quite going to plan, Perez admits that the difference between his expectations going into 2013 and the reality is “very far.”

However, even in trying times, there are lessons to be learned that can prove very important down the road. That appears to be the tack Perez is taking as he tries to make the most of — at least for now — a less than optimal situation with the MP4-28.

“I also have to say that I’ve learned a lot in the last couple of months and over the first three races, so I can say that I’m a better driver now than I was,” he said.

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IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.