Sergio Perez started his Red Bull career with a fantastic recovery at the Bahrain Grand Prix two weeks ago.
An electrical issue on the formation lap forced the Mexican driver to start from the pitlane. However, he stormed through the pack across the 56-lap race and ended up finishing in P5, less than 6s behind Lando Norris when the chequered flag fell.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner praised Checo for rebooting the car and getting it moving again so he could compete in the race.
"A great presence of mind with him to reboot the car and get it going again," Horner said on the latest episode of the Talking Bull podcast.
"Ctrl, Alt Delete, and away you go again. I think that his recovery drive thereafter was fantastic. He was very decisive in his overtaking and had great pace. And to come from the back of the field was a great performance."
When asked if Perez will have gained a lot of confidence from that performance in Bahrain, Horner agreed.
"Very much so,’’ he said. ‘’That's the most sustained seat time he's had in the car since joining the team. Obviously, [a] very limited amount of pre-season testing for all the drivers this year. So for him to get that mileage was fantastic."
Horner added that the electrical issue for the 31-year-old was something that hadn’t happened to them before.
"I think we've started to understand it. So we need to address that, obviously, in time for the next race in Imola, but, you know, a frustrating gremlin that we haven't seen before."
Former Grand Prix winner and current Channel 4 commentator David Coulthard believes Perez is the right driver for Red Bull to have alongside Verstappen in 2021 and adds the Mexican has the maturity to handle the Max factor inside the Red Bull team.
"I think Checo is an experienced driver, he’s a safe pair of hands," Coulthard said to Dutch broadcaster Ziggo Sport.
"I believe he’s the right person to be in that seat, with the greatest of respect to Alex, who was just too immature in terms of his life journey to handle the 'Max factor’.
"Checo’s mature enough to realise few people can beat Max, other than Max himself."
Like Horner, Coulthard also complimented Perez for his performance in Bahrain and the fact he rebooted his RB16B without getting help from the team.
"Checo did a great comeback in Bahrain; the car was switched off and he had no communications with the team. He managed to start the car, get back in the race and finish 5th. That’s the sort of stuff that will win them a Constructor’s Championship.
Asked if he thinks Perez can pressure Hamilton and Bottas throughout the season, Coulthard believes he needs time to adapt to his new team and car.
"I think Checo will get better as the season goes on, [as] he gets to understand the car more,’’ Coulthard said.
''He understands Racing Point or Aston Martin as it is now, intimately. He’s learning his new girlfriend. Until you know where all the buttons are in the dark, you don’t really know what you are working with. Let’s give him six months, let’s give him some time.
''I think he’s a great teammate for Max,’’ Coulthard concluded.
Pruebas físicas en el Athlete Performance Center. Les deseo tengan un mejor fin que el mío jajaj— Sergio Pérez (@SChecoPerez) April 10, 2021
Physical test at the APC, I hope you have a better weekend than mine 😅 💪@redbullracing #ChecoRedBu11 #chargeon pic.twitter.com/7tJ8C6kJvf