Sergio Perez says he must find extra performance overnight and “pull a gear” for qualifying at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Perez ended the second practice session from the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in fourth place, three-tenths down on team-mate Max Verstappen who topped the session.
Lodged between the two Red Bull drivers were Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg.
Perez is in need of a strong weekend after his disappointing outing last time out in Monaco, where he crashed out early in qualifying.
He was unable to recover in the race due to the overtaking challenge through the Monte Carlo streets, and saw the deficit to Verstappen in the Drivers’ standings grow.
With Barcelona being a more conventional track layout, Perez says that it provided Red Bull with more opportunity to undertake different measures during practice sessions.
When asked if Friday felt like a test session, the Mexican replied: “It always does in Barcelona, we are trying a lot of stuff here.
“Because it’s always the most representative track throughout the season, it really puts the whole season together. That was a good day, plenty of information for us.
“Overall, I think there’s plenty of positives to take from the day. But [we need to] pull a gear in qualifying and try to understand the tyres as well for the long run will be key to Sunday.”
A major change at the track this year is the removal of the chicane in the final sector, which Perez believes will lead to sore necks on race day.
“It’s quite tough in the neck but obviously, it was a very short day,” he said. “I think we will see on Sunday people resting their necks around here because it will get a bit trickier.”