Mexican Perez to start 9th at home GP

Mexico City, Nov 1 (IANS) Mexican Formula 1 driver Sergio Perez qualified for Q3 and will start his home Grand Prix in ninth position in his Force India car at the 4.3-km Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez here.

Germany’s Nico Rosberg will start in pole position for Sunday’s race after beating out Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton on Saturday, who has already wrapped up the 2015 drivers’ title. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel will start third.

Though the Force Indias of Perez and Nico Hulkenberg looked quick in the first two qualifying sessions, they came out late in Q3 by when the track conditions worsened and slowed down because of a few drops of rain. As a result the duo could not go faster and will start ninth and 10th in the 17th round of the 19-race calendar.

“We did a good job and are in a competitive position for the race. We were aiming to be the last car on track during Q3 to try and make the most of the track evolution, but in the end it didn’t really make a huge difference,” said Perez.

Perez, who has had an impressive run off late and secured a podium spot at the Russian GP in October, is extremely glad that Formula 1 has return to the Latin American nation after 23 years.

“I felt very privileged to be driving at home and to feel so much support from the fans. They have given me lots of energy and I’m extremely motivated to give them something to celebrate this weekend – that’s the best way to repay them,” said Perez, who was born in Guadalajara.

The Mexican crowd came out in large numbers to the old circuit to cheer for the 25-year-old.

“Eighth was possible. For the race expectations will be high, I know that, but it’s a very positive pressure and I just need to say focussed, work through my usual routine and treat it as a normal race. The car is working well, we’ve done our homework and I want to move forward in the race.”

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