Perez says he "finally understands" Red Bull's F1 car

Sergio Perez believes he “finally understands” the Red Bull RB16B car after topping second practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, calling it his “best Friday” of the Formula 1 season.

Perez joined Red Bull for 2021 after his exit from Racing Point, and anticipated it would take him around four or five races to get up to speed with the team's car.

A difficult Monaco qualifying was made up for in the race when he recovered to finish fourth, but Perez hit new heights in Baku on Friday as he led second practice for Red Bull.

A time of 1m42.115s gave Perez top spot ahead of teammate Max Verstappen, capping off a good Friday for Red Bull as Mercedes failed to get either car inside the top 10.

Speaking after the session, Perez said that the debrief after Monaco helped him understand more about the Red Bull car, with proof of his progress then coming in Friday's practice running.

"I think we made very good progress after Monaco, we did a very deep analysis," Perez said. "Today it was like, 'well, I finally understand this car a bit more', how I need to drive it and so on.

"So in that regard, I think this is the best Friday of this season, the most complete Friday in terms of data, in terms of how comfortable I feel with the car.

"I think we are definitely going to be in the mix. So hopefully, tomorrow we are able to get a good clean lap, which is very important."

Read Also:

Verstappen trailed Perez by one tenth of a second in FP2, and was heard over team radio saying that the balance of the car did not feel as good as it had during the opening session.

"The car in FP1 felt really decent, I was quite comfortable," Verstappen said. "Then for FP2 we made a few changes to see if it would be better, but I think we went a bit backwards.

"We'll look overnight of course what direction we'll go into. But nevertheless, I think for the team it's still a very good day."

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko told Motorsport.com that he was pleased with how the team was shaping up in Baku, noting Perez's strength around street circuits.

"We are pleased and the car looks very competitive [over] short runs and long runs," Marko said. "So let's hope we can keep this advantage until the race. Checo was competitive from the very first lap here. His image is he likes street circuits, and he proved in the race in Monte Carlo how quick he can be."

Red Bull arrived in Baku leading both championships for the first time since 2013, having moved one point clear of Mercedes in the constructors' standings in Monaco.

Practice indicated Mercedes could be set to struggle again, with Marko saying Red Bull's data showed its rival was losing out in the low-speed section of the track.

"The long run from Hamilton was fast, but from what we see they are just losing in the tight corners," Marko said. "I hope they can't solve it by tomorrow. They don't have an engine which is a second faster on the straight anymore."

shares
comments

Related video

Horner tells Wolff "I'd keep my mouth shut" over flexi-wings
Previous article

Horner tells Wolff "I'd keep my mouth shut" over flexi-wings

Next article

F1 Grand Prix practice results: Perez fastest in Baku

F1 Grand Prix practice results: Perez fastest in Baku
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021