Sergio Perez believes his 10-years’ worth of experience in Formula 1 will be a valuable asset to Red Bull and serve him well as he goes up against Max Verstappen in 2021.

The Mexican has been drafted into partner Verstappen for this season, replacing Alex Albon, who proved no match for the Dutchman during a difficult first full campaign at the Milton Keynes squad and was subsequently demoted to reserve driver. 

Perez has collected a wealth of experience since making his F1 debut for Sauber in 2011, before going on to race for McLaren and Racing Point, where he established himself a reputation for being one of the strongest and most consistent drivers in the midfield.

SEE ALSO: Why Perez is so confident he can over-deliver in F1's most precarious seat

Now with a race win under his belt following his maiden triumph at last year’s Sakhir Grand Prix, the 31-year-old feels well prepared for his attempt to take the fight to Verstappen. 

“I think it is quite a big one, to be honest,” Perez replied when asked how big a weapon his experience will be going up against Verstappen. 

“You’re here 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. I just think the opportunity comes at a great point of my career and it’s going to work out well.” 

Perez has carried out extensive running on Red Bull’s simulator and also got his first taste of driving the team’s F1 machinery earlier this week at Silverstone as he sampled a 2019-specification RB15 and the new RB16B. 

Once he has got fully up to speed, Perez has no doubts that he will be able to reach his level and challenge Verstappen. 

“I'm confident in my abilities,” he added. “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.”

Verstappen reckons Perez can contribute greatly to Red Bull thanks to his vast knowledge and experience of another team and the Mercedes power unit.

“I think it’s mainly his information from his years he has done at another team, a different power unit, stuff like that,” Verstappen explained. 

“He can transfer to the team his findings and differences so I hope it can help the team or at least gives them different ideas about a few things.” 

 

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