Sergio Perez says his confidence is growing slowly despite the hard fought battle in F1 Spanish GP, as he eyes better results in Monaco.

A shoulder issue in qualifying, hampered Red Bull’s Perez chances for a Top 5 result, especially on a difficult track like Barcelona. A better start helped him to gain places, but he got stuck behind McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo for long.

He eventually passed him, but it was too late to catch Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc or even get near Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas to help teammate Max Verstappen in his fight against Lewis Hamilton. A points haul, though, helps Perez to move further.

He admitted that the lack of testing did hurt him to get adjusted with the Red Bull machine, something which has hampered others, who have changed teams. Perez is slowing feeling confidence and pins hope on Monaco, for a breakthrough run considering the pace.

“It was a busy one; flat out from Lap 1 onward,” said Perez. “It was very difficult to get past Daniel. He was extremely quick on the main straight and yes, didn’t have the opportunity to go through him. I couldn’t do my own race, I really got stuck behind him, we lost a lot of ground to Mercedes and the Ferrari and that meant that really our race was very compromised.

“But overall, I’m getting more confident with the car now and every time I get to the end of a weekend, I think, ‘I wish the weekend was just starting now.’ Also every circuit is different so what I learn here will be different to what I need in Monaco but the main thing is that I am still adapting and hopefully soon we can be 100%.

“I am excited for Monaco, especially with this car as historically it’s been competitive and I think we have a chance of winning,” summed up Perez, as his confidence growth is certainly what Red Bull needs now, especially to challenge Mercedes at the front.

For now, Red Bull is in a similar position like the past few seasons, as Verstappen continues to charge ahead, his teammate is unable to keep up. Team boss Christian Horner did note that this certainly doesn’t help them, especially in winning the drivers’ title.

“I think it’s coming together for him,” said Horner. “He had an off day in qualifying and he was compromised in the race behind Daniel. Obviously then he didn’t manage to make headway at a track where it is so difficult to pass, because we desperately need him to be in that gap, so that Mercedes don’t have the strategic options that they had. I’m convinced that that will come for Checo as he finds more confidence and time in the car.”

Here’s Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen on strategic display

Here’s what Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen said about Turn 1 fight