Perez: My experience a ‘big’ weapon in bid to beat Verstappen

Sergio Perez thinks his vast experience in Formula 1 will be a key asset for him at Red Bull as he bids to take the fight to Max Verstappen.

The Mexican has been signed as teammate to the Dutchman this year, after predecessor Alex Albon failed to live up to expectations last season.

While Verstappen’s most recent teammates – Albon and Pierre Gasly – both failed to hit their targets and keep their seats, Perez thinks he is much better placed to deal with the pressures. He believes lessons learned throughout his career – including a challenging campaign at McLaren in 2013 – will put him in better stead to cope with everything Verstappen throws at him.

Asked how big a weapon his experience would be in the battle against Verstappen, Perez said: “I think it is quite a big one, to be honest.

“You're here [in F1] and when things don't go well, pressure hits you hard. And when you are experienced and when you've been through it before, it just makes you focus on the right stuff.

“Technically you develop a lot of skills as well throughout your career too. I just think I'm in a great point. The opportunity comes at a great point of my career and yep, it's gonna work out well.”

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Perez is not fearing the challenge of racing Verstappen and thinks, with a bit of time to get better adjusted to the Red Bull environment, he will be fully able to show what he can do.

“I'm confident in my abilities,” he said. “I just think it's a matter of time before I get on top of everything, but I don't see why with time, and once I am on top of all the things that I need to know before on the car, I cannot be at that level.”

He also believes that he and Verstappen will complement each other well by bringing different strengths on an F1 weekend.

Perez added: “I think Max, from what I've seen, he's going to be very strong in qualifying. So he will be a massive benchmark in qualifying. My strength comes on Sunday, with racecraft and race pace. So I think that's a pretty good match that hopefully delivers the maximum from the car.”

Perez has certainly not held back in setting himself an ambitious target this year of doing better than the new RB16B car deserves.

Pushed on his goals, he said: “To over deliver on the car performance. If we have a car good enough to win the championship, to make sure I win it. If we have got a car that is good for second, then make sure to win. To over deliver the car potential.”

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB15

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB15
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Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB15

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB15
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Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing
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Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing
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Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB15

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB15
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Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB15

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB15
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Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB15
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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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