Max Verstappen notes RB16B handling better but there’s more F1 races to go, as Sergio Perez talks about learning from his teammate.

After RB16 gave both Verstappen and Alexander Albon some scare in 2020, the Dutchman reckons RB16B – so far – has been much better to drive, but notes they have full season to go still to actually understand the car and if it is the best they have.

“I don’t think you can compare both cars because there are a lot of different factors such as the tyres and the aero changes but the RB16B definitely handles well so far,” said Verstappen. “We’ve also only been to one track so every single weekend you have to try and find a good balance in the car again but everyone enjoys that challenge of F1.”

With a good start to the 2021 F1 season, Verstappen is hoping to keep the upward trend and score the race wins, to keep the pressure on Mercedes. Teammate Perez concurs, as he reckons, Imola will more light if the car is capable to fight on different circuits.

“I’m feeling really relaxed going into this race weekend in Imola, I’m looking forward to going back there,” said Verstappen. “Last year we had quite a good race until the tyre issue. Again, it’s too close to the start of the season to know how we will perform, we’ll have to wait and see what happens on track.

“The desire comes from within and I am motivated to try and win every single race. So let’s see if we can go one better,” summed up Verstappen, as Perez added: “I think it’s going to be very tight with Mercedes and we’re going to see if the fight is circuit related. It will be interesting to see how we are in Imola, on a very different track to Bahrain, and see how we compare against them.”

For Perez, it was also a learning situation in Bahrain, in a race weekend with Red Bull. Fortunately, he could finish the full race to understand the dynamics. In a short period of time, he has managed to note some data of Verstappen, as he aims to get a podium.

“I learned a lot,” said Perez. “I learned more about Max’s driving style and how the car has to be driven to extract the maximum from it. I think that was the biggest learning, I know what balance I need from the car throughout the weekend.

“My goal is to have a good race and I’m looking forward to the weekend. Hopefully in Imola we can come back and be in contention to fight for a podium and hopefully the win. Unlike Bahrain, qualifying is very important at Imola as you can hardly overtake there but I like it,” summed up Perez.

Here’s Daniel Ricciardo on Max Verstappen

Here’s Zak Brown clarifying his Mercedes line-up comments