Force India Formula 1 driver Sergio Perez says he would like to compete in the Indianapolis 500 at some stage in his racing career.
The 100th edition of IndyCar’s showpiece race takes place on the same weekend as the Monaco Grand Prix later this month. Should an Indy opportunity arise in the future, Perez said he would want to have enough testing to “do it properly.”
“Indy is a very big race, one of the biggest ones in the history of our sport,” he said. “I would definitely be interested in trying the Indy 500.
“But, if you want to do it properly and you want to challenge for victory, you have to do a lot of testing, because I believe that ovals are very different to what we in Formula 1 are doing.
“When I speak to drivers who do ovals, [they say] it takes some time to get used to it but it’s something really exciting, and something that probably one day I will do.”
Asked if he would be interested in a move to IndyCar at some stage, Perez said while it is a possibility, his main aim now is to focus on F1.
“IndyCar generally is very close to Mexico – it’s quite connected,” he said. “We’ve also had a couple of Mexican drivers [in it] in the past so IndyCar is quite popular in Mexico.
“It was more popular than Formula 1 at one time so I followed it a lot in the past, but since I went to Europe at the age of 14/15, my main focus was Formula 1.
“I love Formula 1 and I believe that this is the pinnacle of the sport where every driver wants to be but who knows what might happen in the future. I certainly have a lot of interest in the Indy 500 and IndyCar itself and I think it’s growing. I’ve heard that it’s getting better and better so it’s something interesting.”
Calendar clashes have made it impossible for active F1 race drivers to consider the Indy 500 in the modern era. As well as the event and the Monaco GP invariably coinciding, the Indianapolis format spreads practice and qualifying over the preceding week. Five ex-F1 drivers are competing in this year’s Indy 500, for which qualifying is taking place this weekend.