No Bull As New Bull Joins Verstappen

No Bull As New Bull Joins Verstappen

Two days in the simulator and a seat fitting have given Sergio Perez a fast start on his time as a Red Bull racer in Formula One.

He has also been buried in engineering meetings and personal get-togethers with team boss Christian Horner and tech genius Adrian Newey.

A catch-up with Max Verstappen at the Bulls headquarters in Britain? Not yet.

“It’s like a dog finding a new family. I’m starting to feel very comfortable here,” Perez said.

“A fantastic team, very united. It’s just a dream coming true.

“These opportunities only come once in your life. I know that and I’m ready to make it work.”

Checo has plenty to keep him busy and is bubbling with enthusiasm after turning around his brutal exit from the team now known as Aston Martin to clear a space for Sebastian Vettel.

“In the end I lost my seat with the team but it worked out very well. It was very harsh for me, you know, to deal with it. It was a very critical time in my career,” he said.

“I was waiting all my career to get an opportunity with a top team, and it finally came at the right moment for me. I’m so much looking forward to making it work.”

Perez could become the next victim of the Verstappen mincer, which has chopped through a succession of Red Bull team mates including Alex – ‘Off you go to touring cars in Germany, youngster’ – Albon.

But it looks unlikely as he has battled from the start of his F1 career at McLaren and finally scored a well-deserved win for Racing Point.

“I think I can bring a lot of experience, knowledge. I think I know what I need for myself but I also feel I can push the team forward in certain areas.

“When you come here you straight away know why they have been so successful. They have very capable people here. It’s in a way very different o the teams I have worked for.”

“The level of engineering inside this team is very impressive. There are so many things you have to learn and it just takes a bit of time. I’ve already spent a good amount of time with the engineers; that’s the key to speed up the process.”

Perez has two obvious objectives this year, proving he can match Verstappen and taking the fight to Mercedes, and he said he is up for both challenges.

“It’s a moment for me to prove to myself that I can take the next step. I have to make sure I make it work.

“It’s a big challenge. He (Max) is one of the fastest, if not the fastest, out there on the grid. He knows what he needs from the car. I look forward to work with him.

“We definitely have to close up the gap to Mercedes, and hopefully be able to beat them with both cars regularly. And to give a better spectacle to Formula One.”

It’s honeymoon time at Red Bull Racing but Perez is taking nothing for granted.

“I still don’t believe that I’m here, to be honest. It’s something I never really considered as an option.

“It’s a dream come true. It’s just amazing.”

He has already set his first goal for 2021, looking to top the drivers – led by Daniel Ricciardo – who have hit the transfer list.

“There are a lot of drivers changing teams, so it will be good to see who laps fastest with a new team.”

But the long-term goal is to cement a slot at the Bulls, even though he didn’t come up through Helmut Marko’s SAS-style junior bootcamp.

“I have to give it all, weekend after weekend, and see what happens,” Perez said.