Red Bull: Time required for Perez to ‘get up to speed’

February 18, 2021 0 By PENTICTONLAWYERS

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says Sergio Perez will need time to get up to speed with his new team, but the Mexican is eventually expected to play a “really important role” in his outfit’s push to challenge Mercedes.

Perez replaces Alex Albon at the Milton Keynes-based team following the latter’s inability to perform on a par with teammate Max Verstappen.

Horner knows that snapping at the heels of the blindingly fast Dutchman when the season kicks off in Bahrain next month is a tall order for Perez.

But the Red Bull team boss believes that last year’s Sakhir GP winner can with time challenge his teammate and provide his outfit with a strong and consistent unified line-up to tackle Mercedes, something Red Bull last enjoyed when Verstappen was paired with Daniel Ricciardo.

©RedBull

“It’ll be very difficult to get himself up to speed in just one test, straightaway,” Horner said in an exclusive interview with Autosport.

“But he has the benefit of a lot of experience and, of course, we are expecting him to be close to Max and challenging – in a way that we had with Daniel Ricardo and Max for three seasons.

“So, hopefully, Sergio can play a real, really important role for the team in getting both cars, on a consistent basis, near to the Mercedes.”

    Read also: Wolff wary of ‘much stronger’ Red Bull threat with Perez

But Verstappen remains Red Bull’s main contender to upset Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton’s domination.

The 21-year-old is on the eve of his fifth full season with RBR, having won 10 Grands Prix since his victorious debut with the team in Barcelona in 2016, a track record Horner puts into perspective.

“I think Max has done a great job,” Horner said. “I think he’s matured enormously over the last few years. And I think what he’s extracted from the car in the last couple years has been truly impressive.

“In a car that hasn’t been as good as the Mercedes [and] to have won five races in the last two years with Honda power [as well], I think he’s done a fantastic job.

“And we just as a team need to be able to do that on a more consistent basis over the course of a 23-race season.”

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