Perez has yet to finish on the podium during his first three races at Red Bull, while teammate Max Verstappen hasn’t failed to finish outside of the top two.

The Mexican has shown flashes of brilliance, beating Verstappen to second in qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, and once he got ahead of Lando Norris at Portimao, his race pace was on a par with the leading trio.

Perez says that he’s still focusing on adapting to the Red Bull RB16B and any setup changes being made are based around Verstappen’s feedback, rather than his own.

“I’m taking the approach of first I need to adapt to the car,” Perez said ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix. “We have had such limited track time with these cars this year with the new rules of testing and also in practice that everything happens very quickly. So it’s very hard to do any work like we used to in practices when we had more time, now it’s really a couple of runs and the day is over.

“At the same time I have a very strong reference in Max, he’s obviously taking 110% out of the car from practice one all the way until Sunday, so I think first I need to get to that level and then move around. That’s my view. It makes no sense to follow another direction because I’m just going to get lost, so I’m working in a very similar basis as my teammate.”

Reflecting on the Portuguese Grand Prix last time out, Perez felt it was his most “straightforward” weekend as an F1 driver.

“I think so, in terms of things being straightforward - qualifying and then the race,” Perez added. “I think it was the weekend where I learned the most I would say, it was a very complete weekend. Especially that race, that race really helped me to understand the car more in race conditions.

“I think definitely although the result wasn’t fantastic in Portugal the race pace was a good step forward. But more than that, the understanding. Afterwards, you can analyse that race and compare it in many aspects to the leaders and learn from that what they’re doing, how I can improve my race pace and that’s something that definitely has done a good step in the right direction.”

 

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