After seven years at Force India/Racing Point and ten seasons in Formula One, Sergio Perez heads into his eleventh season with a new team: Red Bull Racing.
Relative newcomers Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon both struggled at the team following their promotions and failed to get near Max Verstappen. Following a chastening season at McLaren as a youngster in 2013, Perez believes the experience he’s developed over the last decade will be a ‘’big’’ weapon in his quest to defeat the Dutchman.
“I think it is quite a big one, to be honest,’’ Perez said to selected media.
“You're here [in F1] and when things don't go well, pressure hits you hard. And when you are experienced and when you've been through it before, it just makes you focus on the right stuff.
“Technically you develop a lot of skills as well throughout your career too. I just think I'm in a great point. The opportunity comes at a great point of my career and yep, it's gonna work out well.”
F1’s newest Grand Prix winner believes in his own abilities and talent and can get the best out of the car after the initial bedding in phase at Red Bull Racing.
“I'm confident in my abilities,” he continued. “I just think it's a matter of time before I get on top of everything, but I don't see why with time, and once I am on top of all the things that I need to know before on the car, I cannot be at that level.”
Perez admitted that he thinks Verstappen is going to be a massive benchmark in qualifying throughout the 2021 season. Nonetheless, the Mexican knows his strongest performances come on race day and he is hopeful that this combination will prove to be a force to be reckoned with.
“I think Max, from what I've seen, he's going to be very strong in qualifying. So he will be a massive benchmark in qualifying. My strength comes on Sunday, with racecraft and race pace. So I think that's a pretty good match that hopefully delivers the maximum from the car.”:
Asked what he wants to achieve this year, he made his attentions clear: “To over-deliver on the car performance. If we have a car good enough to win the championship, to make sure I win it. If we have got a car that is good for second, then make sure to win. To over-deliver the car potential.”