Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021

Perez: It’ll take me five races to get the best out of Red Bull

2021 F1 Season

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Sergio Perez believes Red Bull’s RB16B has “very good potential” but says it will take a few race weekends for him to get fully up to speed with the car.

Perez concluded his testing programme on the morning of Sunday’s running having clocked the fastest time of the test up to that point.

The new Red Bull driver says he is still getting used to his new car and surroundings, but believes the team have the potential for a strong season in 2021.

He said the RBR16B is “very different in many aspects” to his previous car. “The way you drive each of the cars is very different, so you have to adapt to a different car, to a different style.

“But all in all, I also have to say that this car has very good potential in it. I think once I get on top of the car, then we should be looking good.”

Asked how long it will take him to get on top of the car, Perez said: “It’s hard to pick a number – I think after five races.

“Once we go to very different races, different conditions, you understand the car [and] the team a lot better. I think five races, proper races, should be good.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 15 comments on “Perez: It’ll take me five races to get the best out of Red Bull”

    1. So until the Monaco GP that is, but at some point later, someone has to remind him of five races, really bit quickly.

      1. Agree. Considering it took Gasly only 9 races before the decision to dump him was made.. I think Perez needs to be on it pretty quick.

        From what I can tell, the Red bull seems to have better rear stability than it’s last two predecessors. Max didn’t seem to have many spins, and from his feedback it seems like the car is significantly better at the start of this year. Perez is new to the team, but he’s an experienced driver inheriting a car better than Albon or Gasly inherited, so I would think he needs to start performing at a strong level pretty soon. Since he’s said race 5, the clock is ticking already…

    2. I know it is only testing, but Perez’s onboards have looked pretty good. It looks like he can handle the car, but that car appears to be more rear compliant compared to the previous cars of 2019 and 2020.

    3. Good drivers don’t need 5 races. Especially drivers with close to 10years experience…

      Rrmember Lewis.podium on his debut.
      Or Verstappen in 2016.

      1. You mean the Lewis Hamilton who did 16 days of testing in the car before his debut?

      2. C’mon, he’s just managing expectations… All is new for him, he has Max as a teammate… It won’t be an easy challenge and he knows that people like you will look at him ready to pull him down with easy criticism and cheap lessons. Make sense he’s carefull and takes a bit of contingency.

        1. I hope F1 is a bit hard and that indeed he should need some time as he has said. Otherwise F1 is too easy.

      3. @trib4udi Except none of those drivers you named were able to completely able to get the best from the package in those races. Hamilton in Australia 2007 (after probably 20 times as much testing as Perez) was slower than his teammate all weekend, which we know was not his best level. Verstappen in Spain 2016 was again not the quickest Red Bull driver, strategy and tyre management won him that race.

      4. Or villeneuve in 96

    4. Shame it didn’t fit him right away. Hope he can master it and we don’t have another repeat of the 2nd RB floundering.

      1. @balue See my comment right above.

        1. @robbie I was more thinking about his previous team saying he had such an ‘extreme’ driving style, and me hoping that would fit the idiosyncratic Red Bull, but apparently not.

          1. @balue Oh ok fair enough regarding his ‘extreme’ style, but ok yeah for now let’s see just how idiosyncratic this year’s car is, and how it suits him as they tweak from their learnings these last three days and then proceed to work the car with each and every session once they are racing in anger. I don’t pick up any nuance of concern that he won’t be able to adjust nor they to him, but of course things will just have to play out. I think he’ll be fine. I think he’s now in the best car he’s ever had, and must be stoked about that.

    5. However, I think he will adapt faster than he thinks, the car is very good and Checo has experience, Checo is only answering an express question.

      Here the important thing is that the team give him a good car and Checo will make it work, I think that from the first race he will do quite well, all weekend in the tests he did quite well, fulfilling the team and without errors.

    6. So much said about Perez’s extreme driving style. Ayrton Senna had extreme driving style as well.

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