Sergio Perez believes the experience that he brings to Red Bull in 2021 will be a big advantage for the team’s prospects throughout the year.
Perez succeeds Alexander Albon and Pierre Gasly at Red Bull, who both struggled during their stints with the energy drink-backed outfit alongside Max Verstappen.
Verstappen has delivered a bulk of Red Bull’s notable results over the last two seasons, scoring 20 of the team’s 22 podiums since the start of the 2019 season.
With Perez holding a sizeable edge in F1 experience compared to Albon and Gasly, the Mexican is confident that it will be a large benefit for Red Bull, who is awaiting its first F1 title since 2013.
“I think that is quite a big one to be honest,” Perez said when asked how big of a weapon his experience will be.
“You’re here, and when things don’t go well, pressure hits you hard, and when you are experienced, when you’ve been through it before, it just makes you focus on the right stuff.
“Technically you’ve developed a lot of skills as well throughout your career.
“I just think I’m in a great point, the opportunity comes at a great point in my career and it’s going to work out well.”
While Verstappen was relatively unchallenged at the team since Daniel Ricciardo’s departure at the end of 2018, Perez is hopeful that he can test the Dutchman more consistently than his recent partners.
However, Perez is wary that Verstappen will be a robust opponent in qualifying, but is confident that he can mount a serious confrontation during grands prix.
“I think Max, from what I’ve seen, he’s going to be very strong in the qualifyings, he will be a massive benchmark in qualifying,” Perez said.
“I think my strength comes in Sunday, race craft, race pace, I think that’s a pretty good match that hopefully delivers the maximum of the car.
“I’m confident in my abilities, but I think it will take a bit of time before I get on top of everything.
“But I don’t see why, with time and once I’m on top of all the things I need to know about the car, I can’t be at my best level.”