Sergio Perez and McLaren looking for strong Italian GP as team celebrate 50th anniversary
Team hoping for fitting result on celebratory weekend
Last Updated: August 30, 2013 4:03pm
Sergio Perez: Returning to the scene of his joint-best F1 result
Sergio Perez is aiming to make up for the disappointment of the drive-through penalty which compromised his Belgian GP with a return to the points at Monza next week, as McLaren look for a strong result to mark their 50th anniversary.
The Mexican was running in 11th place last Sunday when he overtook Lotus's Romain Grosjean at Les Combes on lap eight, however, stewards soon ruled that Perez had unfairly squeezed his rival off the track in completing the move and duly handed him the drive-through penalty.
Perez ultimately finished in 11th place, eight seconds outside of the points positions, and is determined to go at least one better in Italy next weekend.
"After the disappointment of Spa, where we had the pace to score points, I'm keen to get another shot," he said.
"As in Hungary and Belgium, we don't expect to have a car that'll be capable of fighting right at the front, but I hope we'll be scrapping for points positions.
"That's always fun, because then it's really down to the team and the driver to maximise every opportunity on the day."
With McLaren's disappointing 2013 form having ensured Perez hasn't come close to challenging for a podium finish in his debut season at Woking, last year's Monza race remains the 23-year-old's last appearance on the rostrum.
Perez's drive from 12th on the grid to second at the chequered flag arguably earned him the move to McLaren after Lewis Hamilton decided to join Mercedes and the Mexican himself admits he has fond memories of the 2012 event.
"I had one of my best races in Formula 1 at Monza last year - everything came right on Sunday afternoon, I looked after the tyres beautifully and overtook Fernando Alonso on my way to finishing second, which equals my best-ever result in the sport," Perez recalled. "That was a fantastic day."
Although unlikely to add to their haul of ten Italian GP victories, Monza 2013 is still set to be a memorable one for McLaren given they are using the weekend to mark their first half century in existence since the formation of Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd in September 1963.
Jenson Button, a three-times runner-up at Monza, said: "It's really appropriate that McLaren will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in the paddock over the Monza weekend.
"Both names are synonymous with motorsport history - you couldn't imagine Formula 1 without them - so I'll be hoping for a strong result to show the strength and depth that we have as a team."