Sergio Perez admitted to mixed feelings on Wednesday as he returned to Monaco. The last time he was in the Principality to race – for his debut grand prix in the fabled Principality – he was hauled away in an ambulance, having been knocked unconscious in a huge qualifying crash.
“To me it’s unbelievable to be back here after such an accident,” the 22-year-old said on Wednesday, according to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.
Mexican Perez said Monaco is still his favourite track.
“It is definitely not a good feeling that the walls are so close, but we know the risks. It’s a special place. I can remember everything right up to the crash. The next thing I know was that I was on the way to hospital — I was unconscious for several minutes.
“After such an accident it is not easy to come back — I cannot say for sure how I will feel when I come out of the tunnel for the first time. But I think it will be completely out of my head.”
Perez said he really needed “four or five” races to recover from the heavy concussion, but that there was pressure from sponsors to come back as soon as possible.
“I wanted to get back into the car in Montreal, but it was impossible,” he recalled. “In Valencia it was very difficult for me.”
Now, he is hoping for a very different Monaco weekend, after looking strong last year until his crash.
“Our goal must be the podium. I hope to find a good setup although we have recently had a little problem with the traction. We are so close to the top that every tenth can make a difference.
“After our second place in Malaysia, maybe the next step will be victory — I don’t know if we will succeed. But the opportunities are there,” said Perez.