Sergio Perez pleased with his first outing with Red Bull despite dramas, as team personnel praise his smartness and experience in the F1 Bahrain GP.
Perez almost had a worst start to his Red Bull career in F1 Bahrain GP, when he stopped at the side of the track on the formation lap. This came after the Mexican failed to make it into Q3 due to track limits leading to his first fast lap being cancelled.
He set a time on a used set but it wasn’t fast enough. He hoped to make up from 11th, but the stop on the formation lap forced him to start from the pitlane. It was a last-minute miracle and smartness from Perez to eventually get the car going.
From there he fought his way through the field – being helped by safety car – to end up fifth in a respectable position. He still has much to learn with the RB16B, but that fightback will certainly give him confidence, especially having to fight it out.
“Considering that where we started, how things went, all of a sudden everything shut down, I was so close to jump out of the car but I listened to my engineer and also Jonathan Wheatley and managed to re-start,” explained Perez to TV media. “We had to start from the pitlane, which put us way back.
“The most important was to get mileage as on Saturday, we missed Q3 and those laps were going to be very important in our progression. In the race, though, we made a huge difference with the progression, that was very good. I am just happy to get the kilometers because things started to click lap by lap and my understanding of the car is getting better and better, so we just have to keep working hard.
“It is a shame that Max couldn’t get the win, but it is going to be a long season ahead of us, we just have to get on with it. I am happy with how my weekend ended up with the understanding of the car,” summed up Perez, as he noted about the lack against Verstappen, especially at Turn 1 whole weekend long.
“The negative was that I lose the time in two corners,” said Perez. “But in Bahrain, the way the wind is changing, and given that you get just a single lap, it hasn’t been easy to make that progression. The wind is changing all the time, but we can see that progression has been made. There are some specific problems related to the way that I’m driving the car, I have to adjust my driving to the car.
“Firstly I need to make sure that I’m driving the way the car needs to be driven, and then work on that. But it’s taking me a while, because it’s very different to what I’m used to,” summed up Perez, as he garnered supreme praise from not only Christian Horner, but also chief engineer Paul Monaghan for his smart work to re-start the car.
“I think his drive in Bahrain was very mature,” said Horner. “He showed his experience. He had an issue obviously on the on the warm-up lap, but he kept a very calm head. We lost all communication with the car, and he took control of the situation. He rebooted the car, effectively, got it going.
“I think his recovery drive was very strong. So it’s very useful for him to get the time in the seat and get more used to the car. And I think his overtaking, his pace was very strong. So that’s encouraging for him,” Horner summed up, as Monaghan relayed the work done by Perez, who had a new CE and ES fitted on his car as a precaution pre-race.
“On the laps to the grid there were no signs of any errors, the car behaved itself perfectly,” said Monaghan. “On the formation lap we started to have some difficulties. There’s a cut out on the car that protects it and it’s quite entertaining, the sequence of events. The thing has lost all electrical power, Perez has the presence of mind, like when your laptop has gone wrong you switch it off and back on again.
“The steering wheel bursts back into life, starts the engine, [he] gets back around to the end of the pitlane and waits for everyone else to form up and starts from the pitlane. As is often the case with these kinds of intermittent faults, the car then runs faultlessly of course. He was brilliant, he recovered, he didn’t get frustrated.
“He hasn’t lost his motivation, he’s got on with it and moved up the field and done a very decent race and he’s scored us a load of points from being on the side of the road on the formation lap and no power in the car. Thank goodness for him having the presence of mind. He had no radio comms, we didn’t tell him to do the ignition reset, he did it for us.”
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