Perez sits third in the drivers’ championship after the opening eight rounds in 2021, winning the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The Mexican’s form alongside Max Verstappen has allowed Red Bull to establish a comfortable 40-point lead in the constructors’ championship over Mercedes. 

Reflecting on his time with Red Bull so far ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, Perez concedes that he "hoped for more". 

"I’ve found it harder than expected, the change of team," Perez said. "The fact that I came to such a different team in terms of driving a unique car and so on. It was a big change so it took me longer than expected to get up to speed. 

"I am just getting better. I wouldn’t like to do a number yet. Obviously, I hoped for more by now but still the season is very long. Ask me the question in five races time."

Perez is confident of making another step forward in the next five races as he looks to consolidate third in the championship ahead of Lando Norris and Valtteri Bottas.

"We all know in this business how good Max is," Perez added. "He delivers extremely at a very high level since FP1. I am more focused on my side, on trying to get fully comfortable with things, fully up to speed with driving the car. It was just a very different world to what I was used to and I think the fact that I moved teams from teams that are similar to others but I went to another extreme. 

"I think that made it a bit harder. I am getting there, I think every single weekend we see good improvement. I see no reason why I can’t get any better in the next five races, for example, to do another step. I am happy with my progression so far, with my level that I am delivering at but obviously, it’s not enough and I want more than that."

It’s the first time in Perez’s 10-year F1 career that he’s had a car capable of challenging at the front, having driven for midfield teams like Sauber, Force India/Racing Point and McLaren - when it was struggling in 2013. 

Perez explained how racing drivers of Hamilton and Verstappen’s calibre on a consistent basis has allowed him to improve and take his game to the next level.

"It’s obviously a great boost of motivation throughout the season to come to a race and you know if you deliver to your maximum you can end up winning a race, you have that opportunity," Perez explained. "Also the pressure is on you, you know that you have to deliver to a very high level. 

"You are competing against the very, very best drivers, against a very top team like Mercedes so yeah the level of delivering, it’s to a new level. Every single point and the way the team works, trying to maximise every single performance point is very important. You are into the next level, and racing for example my race that I had with Hamilton, literally against him, I was fortunate enough to see how good he is. 

"The way he pushes you, at the time that he does push you and when he saves his tyres. Obviously a very, very intelligent guy - the same to Max. Racing these drivers at this level definitely takes you to a new level."