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Perez says Baku is “good opportunity” to grab podium finish

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Perez says Baku is “good opportunity” to grab podium finish
By:
Jun 17, 2016, 5:13 PM

Sergio Perez says Force India has a chance to add to its podium tally in 2016 during this weekend’s European Grand Prix in Baku after a strong showing in practice on Friday.

Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
Nico Hulkenberg, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
Nico Hulkenberg, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
Nico Hulkenberg, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
Nico Hulkenberg, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
Nico Hulkenberg, Sahara Force India F1
Nico Hulkenberg, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09

Perez scored his sixth career podium in Monaco – Force India’s only top-three finish of the year – and believes the streets of Baku could similarly play to the strengths of the Silverstone-based team.

“I think this track is suiting the car well,” said Perez, who was third fastest in practice today. “We are feeling confident and Nico [Hulkenberg] and myself are very strong, so hopefully tomorrow we can put a good lap tomorrow.

Of his hopes for a podium on Sunday, Perez replied: “I want to believe so. I think the pace we have shown today is quite realistic, but obviously tomorrow there is no room for mistakes and let’s try to be on it and get the best out of qualifying.

“Whatever [engine] mode you are running makes a massive difference here, whatever you are doing with the engine makes a good difference.”

“I knew coming here, new places, like this, always offer a good opportunity before anyone gets used to it and this weekend can offer us a very strong possibility to achieve a very good result.”

“It is definitely a power track”

Hulkenberg – still yet to register an F1 podium – was also upbeat of his chances, ending today fifth fastest overall.

“It is definitely a power track and power-unit track,” said Hulkenberg. “So definitely with Mercedes we have the right kit in the back of our cars.

“But we know our competition like Williams, they have it as well, but compared to the Renaults here today we had a bit of an advantage!

“Usually we pick up performance, so I think at the moment we are in a good position and can work from there.”

Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble

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