Perez admits ‘taking too long to get up to speed’

Sergio Perez feels that he is making progress with Red Bull, but the Mexican admits that he’s still “taking too long to get up to speed” on race weekends.

Perez qualified a disappointing P8 in Barcelona on Saturday, hampered by a shoulder issue, but was never faster than ninth during the preceding practice sessions at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Perez nevertheless gained a few spots on race day which he concluded in 5th position, albeit 50 seconds adrift from runner-up and teammate Max Verstappen.

Although he believes he’s moving forward, the Mexican insists he needs to fast-track his performance and bring everything together at an earlier stage of the race weekend.

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“I think it’s important to keep making those steps and put the whole weekend together,” Perez said after Sunday’s Spanish GP.

“It just takes me too long to get up to speed. When we get to a new circuit on a Friday, I’m like adapting my style. So I’m still not there with the car yet.

“But you see that things are coming, but not together. But I think once we are able to put them together, definitely we have the pace to be able to go pretty quick.

“I’m getting more confident with the car, obviously. I mean, every time I get to the end of the weekend, I’m like, ‘f**k, I wish that we can just start with now’.

“But given how limited track time is, it’s very hard to get up to speed especially with not feeling 100 percent yesterday.

“So yeah. Just forget this one and go back again in Monaco.”

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Perez reckons P5 was the best he could achieve in Spain, having enjoyed a lengthy battle with McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo whom he passed with a bold move around the outside of the Aussie at Turn 1.

“I think that was everything we could have done today,” he added.

After Sunday’s race, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner confirmed Perez’s progress, but he also underscored the “desperate” need for the team to have the Mexican fighting up front as buffer to its Mercedes rival.

“I think it’s coming together for him,” commented Horner. “He had an off day [on Saturday] and he was compromised in the race behind Daniel.

“Obviously then he didn’t manage to make headway at a track [where it is] so difficult to pass, because we desperately need him to be in that gap, so that Mercedes don’t have the strategic options that they had.

“I’m convinced that that will come for Checo as he finds more confidence and time in the car.”

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