Perez ready for fresh challenge
Sergio Perez goes into his first grand prix with McLaren on Sunday convinced he has done all in his power to live up to the faith shown in him.
Perez concedes his integration into the team over the past two months was "better than expected", not just in terms of working with a brand new organisation, but also in his relationship with Jenson Button.
The young Mexican also feels fitter than he has ever been in his life and ready for the challenge of what will be an exacting campaign that starts this Sunday in Australia.
"We have had an incredible couple of months - it feels like I've been with the team for a couple of years," said Perez.
"My adaptation to the team has been very good, we've done very good mileage (in testing) and gathered a lot of information.
"I've also made an incredible step with my fitness, made very good progress throughout the winter.
"I'm in the best shape I've ever been in my short career in Formula One, so there has been a good improvement.
"For me, arriving in Melbourne as a McLaren driver is an incredible honour.
"I've never worked harder over a winter to be ready for the new season, and I'm confident I've done everything within my reach to be ready.
"Now all I'm waiting for is for the red lights to go out on Sunday afternoon."
It is the improvement on the track that will be the most important thing for Perez, who impressed highly last season in his second year with Sauber.
However, Perez goes into this weekend with the stigma of failing to score in his final six races of last year - all after his switch from Sauber to McLaren as Lewis Hamilton's replacement was confirmed
Despite that, Perez has brazenly stated the world title is his goal, and he has not been afraid to suggest he can put Button in his place.
"My target is to beat Jenson and all the others," said Perez.
"I expect a lot from myself. Jenson is somebody who will be up there, so I expect myself to be up there as well.
"The most important thing is to build the team up over the course of the season and have a strong car throughout.
"No matter where we start in Australia, or end up, the most important thing is to be at a very good level."
With 10 years difference in age and experience between Perez and Button, the former was fully expecting on his arrival to learn as much as he could from the latter.
Whilst there has been an exchange of information, what Perez was not anticipating was just how much Button would be relying on him.
"It has been very good working with Jenson, he is a very open guy. If I ask anything he has always been honest," said Perez.
"He has also asked questions when I've been driving, which I've found very impressive.
"It was quite a surprise. I don't know Jenson that well, but since my first day he has always been asking questions about the car, how it feels and what I think.
"I've found this very interesting. I was not expecting a champion like him to ask me any questions with all the experience he has.
"But I guess that is why he has had so much success throughout his career."
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