Sergio Perez reckons F1 Monaco GP was another step up for him, especially with his race performance, as he continues to chase Saturday result.
After having qualified only ninth for F1 Monaco GP, Red Bull’s Perez felt better after the race, where he was able to make up five places in all – including the two for Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc’s DNS and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas’ DNF.
The good pace, allowed him to stay with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly. And a strategic stop helped him to jump all three in the pit stop and move up to fourth behind McLaren’s Lando Norris.
It looked like that Perez may catch Norris, but eventually he and Red Bull settled for fourth, to soak up good points in the the constructors’ fight. Personally, the Mexican felt a step up in the race, while adding that he will continue to push for qualifying performance.
“I’m pleased with the result today,” said Perez. “I think when we go to Abu Dhabi, nobody will remember this race. It’s all about the championship. It’s such a long championship that minimising the bad days and coming out strong of a bad day is going to be key.
“And in Monaco, we managed to do that. And it just shows that the pace is there on Sunday. I think for the team, it was a good one especially, a good day. For Saturdays, I’m still needing the time. In Monaco in particular I think we took a wrong direction, we didn’t read the car as good as Max, but hopefully in the coming races we can do another step.
“To be honest, considering that at Imola I managed to put it on the second row, in my second race, already in such a difficult track. But the progression hasn’t come on Saturdays. It’s just the variables. Whenever there is a little variable I’m not fully at home with the car yet, but I can see light at the end of the tunnel.
“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us but I think once I’m comfortable with the car, we’re going to see very big steps and a lot of points for the team,” summed up Perez, with team boss Christian Horner echoing the sentiments of the Mexican.
“I think he’s finding Saturdays harder than Sundays,” said Horner. “His race pace has generally been very, very strong. So I think Saturdays, we need to work with him to help him to get comfortable, but that will come. You can see the majority of drivers, probably with the exception of Carlos that have changed teams this year, it’s taken them a while to get up to speed.
“I think the tyres are more tricky as well this year, that throws in another dynamic. But he’s getting there, and a performance like Monaco helps that. Checo has driven some great races this year. In Bahrain, he was very strong. His race pace last race in Barcelona was very strong. His race pace in Portimao was good.
“So there’s no there’s no doubt about that, he’s just got to qualify in position, and then he’ll be a factor,” summed up Horner, as he noted why the team did not go for the fastest lap with the Mexican to try and stop Mercedes from getting it.
“We thought about that but we though there is a podium up for grabs in Monaco, so lets keep the pressure on Lando and see if we can capitalise on a mistake,” said Horner. “Lewis was setting purple laptimes and we thought, the upside of a podium outweighed a point for fastest lap, if we would have managed it, that’s why we stuck with the strategy.”
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