The Mexican’s victory within the Azerbaijan Grand Prix has moved him to inside six factors of world championship chief Max Verstappen and confirmed him as a real challenger for the crown.
Reflecting on the Baku efficiency, and particularly on the way in which he managed the tempo on the entrance – like in Saudi Arabia – Perez has singled out work he did together with his engineers over the winter in addressing tyre administration issues as triggering a metamorphosis in his fortunes.
“I feel certainly one of my weaknesses final 12 months was taking care of the tyres,” mentioned Perez, when requested by Autosport in regards to the significance of the Baku consequence.
“In the course of the winter, I sat down with my engineers to undergo it, as a result of I used to be fairly dissatisfied [with last year] – I did not have good race tempo.
“I feel we managed to know numerous issues and we have been a lot better in that regard this 12 months.”
Whereas Perez has a fame as being among the finest drivers at taking care of tyres prior to now, he says these expertise weren’t simply transferrable to the Crimson Bull automobile idea.
Sergio Perez, Crimson Bull Racing, 1st place, within the Press Convention
Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
“After I got here to Crimson Bull, the way in which you take care of the tyres across the groups could be very totally different,” he mentioned. “So I needed to study so much on learn how to take care of the tyres in a Crimson Bull automobile.
“I feel in my first 12 months, I acquired higher in direction of the tip of the 12 months. However, with the regulation change, I used to be not in a position to take care of them correctly.
“I really feel now that I am a lot better at it. With the understanding of a Crimson Bull automobile, I really feel way more like a Crimson Bull driver.”
The progress he has made to date with unlocking what is required for the Crimson Bull additionally leaves Perez assured there may be loads extra room for enchancment.
“There’s nonetheless extra to return, increasingly to return in that regard in changing into extra of a Crimson Bull driver, and the way in which to drive the Crimson Bull automobile,” he mentioned.
“I feel, as soon as you’re actually established in a workforce, and also you perceive the idea of a automobile, you’ll be able to extract the utmost. That solely comes with time, and the extra time you spend with a workforce, the higher.
“However I definitely consider that I made massive steps in comparison with final 12 months.”
Perez says that working up in opposition to a team-mate like Verstappen has not been simple to cope with, which is why he selected to undertake a deep evaluation of his driving over the winter.
Requested how he acquired himself again on monitor for this 12 months after a tough 2022, he mentioned: “I am mentally very sturdy. That is my greatest power and that has at all times been.
“It isn’t simple being Max’s team-mate as a result of he is delivering on a regular basis and he is successful on a regular basis. We’ve seen it prior to now that it is not simple for a team-mate to outlive.
“I believed in myself however I needed to go very deep into understanding the entire idea of the automobile and ensuring that I put the best instruments in place to have the ability to combat.”