Sergio Pérez is gearing up for his first season with Red Bull Racing this year and, during a two-day test at Silverstone, he’s now got behind the wheel of a Red Bull Formula 1 car for the first time.
Pérez drove an RB15 during this test (he’s not allowed to drive the new RB16B until pre-season testing begins in Bahrain) and he managed to rack up a good deal of laps, despite the cold and wet conditions. The test was mainly comprised of short runs designed to help optimise seat fitting, pedal adjustments and familiarisation with Red Bull’s operational procedures.
Pérez described his first outing in a Red Bull as “amazing“, saying that: “To look at my name on the car is something very special. It’s definitely a dream come true.
“We’ve already done a lot of work in the simulator working on the controls and I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made in terms of feeling more comfortable in the car.“
Having previously spent seven years at the team that is now the Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team, Checo has had to adapt to a whole new way of doing things for the first time in a long time. That’s something that isn’t proving to be daunting for him, though.
“Everything about the car is different,” he continued. “It’s still an F1 car in the end but the seating position is different, the steering wheel, the brakes, the buttons, procedures, the engine and the power delivery, the torque, so many things are different. But I can see there is so much potential with this team.”
Pérez wasn’t the only Red Bull driver at Silverstone either; he spent his time getting familiar with the Red Bull way of doing things alongside doing some filming with his new team-mate Max Verstappen. Alexander Albon has also been spending some time in the car at Silverstone as part of his new duties as reserve driver.
Spending the time getting to know his new colleagues is something that’s been very important for Pérez as somebody who’s completely new to the team.
“It’s very, very good to get these days with the team, to get to know my boys, to get to know the engineers, just to have a more fluid conversation,” he said. “The way I explain the car is different to what they’ve been used to, vice-versa as well.“
Talking about the upcoming pre-season testing in Bahrain, Pérez commented that: “Getting comfortable in the cockpit is important, so when we get to Bahrain, I’m able to just focus on getting the performance right. With a day and a half in the car, it’s really nothing. So the more we can get done here, the better we will be prepared for the first test in Bahrain.“
Pérez had a fantastic 2020 in his last season at Racing Point F1 Team (including his first-ever Grand Prix win during the Sakhir Grand Prix), despite having to miss two races due to contracting COVID-19. With such a great season now behind him and the switch into a true top of the grid team, there are high hopes for the Mexican F1 veteran going into 2021. Will he get another win to add to his tally? We’ll just have to wait and see!