Q. Sergio, nice to see you here. What's the latest news from the FIA doctor.
Sergio PÉREZ: Thanks, I just went to do an exam and do all the tests with the FIA and everything was fine. We gave them our results from the doctors and everything is fine to race again this weekend.
Q. So you are clear to go, that's good news?
Q. What have you been doing since Monaco to get yourself back fit again?
SP: They released me from hospital on Monday. I stayed in Monaco for two or three days, just working and recovering from the accident. Then I flew to Zurich to do another check-up with a clinic there and after that everything was okay. Then I went back to Mexico, which is very close from here. I was some days at home, which was very positive for me. Then I went to do karting on Monday and Tuesday so I am already OK.
Q. The karting was just to get yourself up to speed again?
SP: Yeah, of course. It always helps after a big crash to at least drive something.
Q. Do you feel this is a little bit of a home race as it is on the same continent?
SP: Yeah, of course. It is the nearest one to my home so I think there are a lot of Mexicans around. I hope it will be a very special grand prix for me.
Q. A new circuit for you. Have you driven it on the simulator or just on the PlayStation?
SP: I have played it on PlayStation but I could not use the simulator as I was planning to do after Monaco but it was not possible to go. I have seen a lot of on-boards. I think it is a very special circuit. You are always very close to the walls and to do a good lap around here you have to really push a lot to get the maximum out of the car and out of the lap.
Q Lewis, you said you were good on the track and McLaren is good also. Is it your best chance at the beginning of the year to beat the Red Bulls as they are not so good in Montreal?
LH: I would like to think so but again they have been fast at every circuit. I think they have been incredibly successful on all the circuits so far, so you have to assume they will be very quick here as well. But perhaps, as in the last race, maybe the gap will be a little bit closer compared to places like Barcelona. I am expecting to see that through a lot of the field. I would definitely say, looking at the next few races, that this is definitely one of the better ones for us.
Q. Lewis, this race will feature two DRS zones. How is that going to change the complexion of this race as you see it?
LH: We use the DRS in qualifying, so we use it everywhere we can. I think the great thing here is you see quite a lot of overtaking here. You have the great long straight coming out of a hairpin. I definitely think it is not always easy to follow through corners still as you still need downforce. But the DRS, having it in two places, I think will enable people to get even closer. It is a long, long straight. I don't know where they put the DRS zone exactly for those straights. I think it will just make racing even better. Of course the FIA will assess if it is too easy or not too easy. I think we will work together with them to make sure the zones are set in the right place so we don't just whizz past people halfway down the straights. I think so far this year it has been fantastic for racing and enabled people to get close to actually make safe maneuvers, so I think this weekend you will probably see that as well.
Q. Still regarding the two DRS zones, do you think it would be maybe a more exciting show to have the second zone at the Wall of Champions, so that whoever gets past in zone one can try to fight back in zone two.
LH: Yeah, I guess it will make it much tougher. When you overtake one person you overtake them but then they are able to use DRS in the next zone. It is going to make it much harder as when you make an overtaking maneuver usually you are able to pull a little bit of a gap by the next lap so hopefully they are not right behind you but here you won't have. They will be right on your tail so I guess strategy and depending on where you use the DRS and the way you overtake it is going to be interesting, I would assume everyone would probably wait, just stay behind them and not even bother overtaking on the first DRS zone and wait for the last one so for the rest of the lap they are able to pull away.
Q. Lewis, yesterday you were driving Ferraris at Mont Tremblant racetrack in the Laurentians, so do we see a trend there?
LH: No, no, no. I was just at a friend's house and they were the only cars that he had, so I had a little bit of a go.
Q.Did you have fun go-karting at the same time there ?
LH: I didn't do any go-karting. I had planned to go there and just have some fun and he has a lot of cars, so I was going to get to drive a McLaren – the GTR longtail – but I thought it was probably just wise to just drive a road car around a couple of laps, so I only did a couple of laps, but I will definitely be going back at some stage to make sure I can use all the rubber that he has and all the brakes he has and it's free, so it should be fun.
Q. Lewis, we have learned that there has been an exchange of letters between you and President of the FIA about the issues in Monaco. What's your mood now, don't you think that you are too often a sort of target for a lot of criticism for your behavior, not necessarily as a driver? Don't you feel a little under permanent judgment?
LH: No. Well, last week, coming back from the Grand Prix, I had some time to reflect on my behavior and my weekend and again, just a feeling of it just being a bad day, a bad weekend in the office, so I wrote a letter to the FIA to apologise, and I also spoke to the drivers. I just felt it was necessary to do that, I think it was the right thing for me to do and to be able to put everything behind me. This is racing, you know. When you're competitive – and this is the pinnacle of motorsport – and it's not easy to overtake in this sport, and so every maneuver you make is definitely questionable. Sometimes you get it right, sometimes you don't. So it's inevitable when I do quite a lot of overtaking quite often, so sometimes it's going to be right, sometimes not, but I think the stewards are doing a great job. Since I've been in Formula 1, it's been improving, the consistency of the rules, the approach of the stewards with the new racing driver, I think it makes it much better so while I would prefer not to be up at the stewards' office so often – and trust me, I'm trying my hardest to stay out of there – my whole life I was always in the headmaster's office so I'm used to it. I would just try to improve and learn from the situations that I get myself into.
Q. Question to you all: Rubens Barrichello, speaking as the chairman of your association, said today that the drivers were not opposed in principle to racing in Bahrain. Can I ask you gentlemen if that is true and if so, why is it not a matter of principle to race in Bahrain?
AS: I think that for me, I would say, as long as it's safe, I could race there, but I'm not in charge of that, so the FIA and the FOTA is doing that and I think they will find a solution. But for me, as long as it's safe I'm happy to race. It's a good place to go, I always like this circuit so that's all I can say about that.
VP: I think the question is just about the safety. The FIA knows what to do. If they see that it will not be dangerous, we will go. If it's still dangerous I think it's better not to go.
PM: OK, let's wait for the FOTA decision. I think we are drivers who enjoy racing. For sure it's a difficult time there but I think we need to wait and see what they decide.
LH: I think the drivers mostly commentated on things (already). Hopefully the teams and the FIA and the drivers will collectively make the right decision and us as drivers, we just have to rely on them that the right decision will be made. We want to race, not just for our own benefit but also for the benefit of others as well.
SP: Well, first of all for me it was important to recover after the crash so I'm not very aware of the news. I will speak to my team and see what is the latest news. I don't know if everything is clear to race there but for me, if it's one race more or if my team agrees and all the drivers and teams agree, then I think there's no problem to go if everything is safe again.