Having started the 2021 F1 season slowly, by his own high standard, the popular Mexican, Sergio Perez, has revealed that this was a result of trying to adapt to the unique handling a high rake car. Having been racing for Racing Point for so many seasons, Perez knew it would take time to adjust. However, the Austrian Grand Prix saw ‘Checo’ Perez celebrate 200 Grand Prix starts and now he says he is finding his own way with his F1 setup and this is reason for the rest of the grid to be worried.
With nine races of the 2021 F1 season completed, Sergio Perez sits third in the Constructors’ standings with a three-point lead over McLaren’s Lando Norris. Already this year, Perez has recorded his first Red Bull Racing victory after being in the right place at the right time during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Sergio Perez is a very consistent racer, in just nine races for Red Bull Racing, Perez has scored a podium and a win. Not only this but the Mexican racer has also finished P6 or above in every race apart from one. As a result of this, his slow start, particularly in qualifying early on, made many wonder whether yet again Red Bull Racing had been able to find a suitable partner for their talismanic racer Max Verstappen.
Sergio Perez has admitted that his previous driving style was not going to see him get the most from the best car on the grid - the RB16B. As such, Perez knew that a different approach would be required – but which one?
At a time when less experienced racers may be eager to have things their own way, Sergio Perez knew the approach he wanted to take early one – he would copy his teammate’s setup.
Now, having increased his mileage within his RB16B, Perez has announced through comments published by motorsport.com that recent races have seem him gradually try out some of his own setups and ways of approaching a race weekend:
"We've been exploring a lot the car," stated Perez. "We took this opportunity to get to know the car a lot better, from the reference we had. So in the end we did the right adjustments. I'm starting to find my own way, my own direction progressively.”
The timing of such a decision could not have come at a better time as Max Verstappen, currently first in the F1 Drivers’ table with a 32-point lead over Sir Lewis Hamilton, is benefitting from the latest upgrades whereas Perez is not.
"And yeah, also when you don't have the both cars on the same spec, on the same aerodynamic spec, it's harder to compare, you know, to compare set-up. So it's important that we go our [own] route in this case."
Perez’ own route is seeming to benefit him well and had there not been contact in Austria with Lando Norris, another podium looked on the cards. Therefore, do not be surprised to the Mexican back up on the rostrum in Silverstone.
Sergio Perez is experienced; Sergio Perez is quick and Sergio Perez is now doing things his own way and with speculation as to whether he will remain in the team in 2022 – his timing could not be better.