Perez focused on a strong close to 2016

© XPB 

Sergio Perez and Force India will be looking to close the books on 2016 with a strong performance in Abu Dhabi following the team's last good showing in Brazil.

The Mexican finished fourth two weeks ago at Interlagos, just missing out on a podium finish following Max Verstappen's remarkable charge through the field in the closing stages of the race.

Perez is confident he will once again be in the running for some strong points next Sunday.

“It’s the final race of the year and you really want to close the season with a good result," said the 26-year-old

"It’s an exciting time and you need to keep focused on the job even though everyone is already talking about the following season.

"You want to finish the year well to go on holiday with a sweet taste in your mouth, especially this year when there is so much at stake. Nobody wants to have a bad final race; it’s a pretty nasty feeling!"

Last year, Perez finished fifth in Abu Dhabi, a venue which should not provide Force India's VJM09 with any adverse effects.

“Last year’s race was pretty exciting - fighting for the podium against the Ferraris. Even though we fell short, it was a very good race and hopefully we can have another strong weekend after Brazil.

“Abu Dhabi is a cool place and the fans we meet come from all over the world. The facilities at the track are impressive and I’ve always liked racing there.

"It’s a very fast track, with big braking zones and quick changes of direction. You need a car that is very stable at the rear to make the most of the braking zones.

"Also, having good traction out of the corners can gain you a lot of time. There are some overtaking opportunities and the possibility to go for different strategies usually produces interesting races."

At the end of the day, or weekend rather, Perez is hoping to leave Abu Dhabi in a positive spirit before a short hibernation and emerging from the winter all set for 2017.

“You always get a bit nostalgic at the end of the season. You know it’s the last time you’re going to drive your VJM09 and you don’t know what the next season will bring.

"I want to go into the winter with special memories from the final race.”

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