Perez ‘not really obsessed’ with securing top F1 seat

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Sergio Perez is open to moving up to a top Formula 1 team in the future, but says he remains focused on his current commitments with Force India.

Perez scored the fourth podium finish in Force India’s history two weeks ago in Monaco, perfecting his strategy to cross the line in third place.

Of the four that the team has scored, Perez is responsible for three of them, leading to speculation about a move up the grid in the future.

“You never know,” Perez said when asked about the possibility of a move to a bigger team.

“To be honest I’m not really obsessed with that. If that happened that would be a great opportunity to me and I really hope in the near future I can have the opportunity to be in a car that can give me the opportunity to win.

“But right now all I can do is to focus on this weekend, do my best for this one and then after this one think about Baku and whatever.

“The most important thing for me is to focus on the present and try to keep doing the job that I’ve been doing so far.”

Perez raced for McLaren in 2013, spending one difficult year with the British team before being dropped to make way for Kevin Magnussen, and also tested with Ferrari when racing in junior formulae.

Speaking about his podium finish in Monaco, Perez was quick to stress that it was largely due to the unique conditions and not representative of Force India’s pace.

However, the Mexican remains hopeful that the team can challenge Williams for fourth place in the constructors’ championship across the remainder of the season.

“Monaco was a very special race under certain conditions and to get into the points, everything worked perfectly for us: with the strategy; with all the calls that we did in Monaco,” Perez said.

“So it was a race under very special conditions. We are expecting something similar here for Sunday but you never know. I really hope we can carry the form.

“Probably podiums is not the realistic word for us at the moment but certainly continue the progress and keep scoring points and aim to beat Williams, which is the team ahead of us, which is going to be difficult.

“But I think we are making good progress and we are getting better and better every race.”

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.