Perez: I have a very strong reference in Max

verstappen perez red bull

Sergio Perez says he is following the lead of Formula 1 teammate Max Verstappen as the quickest way to get up to speed in his new role at Red Bull.

The race winner moved from Racing Point (now Aston Martin) to the title contenders at the end of 2020 but is still adapting.

“We’ve had such limited track time with these cars this year, with the new rules of testing and in practice. Everything comes very quick,” Perez told reporters ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

“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.

“It makes no sense to follow another direction because I’m just going to get lost so I’m working on a very similar basis as my teammate.”

Verstappen has won one race and finished second in the other two this season, leaving the 23-year-old Dutch driver eight points adrift of Mercedes’ seven times Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Perez was fifth in Bahrain and fourth in Portugal, but failed to score in round two at Imola, and is 39 points behind his teammate.

He said the weekend in Portugal had helped him learn much more about the car, “What I used to do in the races just simply doesn’t work with this car, so it’s like resetting myself into the race, knowing how to approach it.

“How to take the maximum out of the tyres, how to take the maximum out of the car — that’s something very different to what I’ve been used to. So it helped me a lot in that understanding.” (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)