Perez: Compressed practice time hindering 2021 progress

Sergio Perez feels it is taking him “a bit too long to get up to speed” on Formula 1 race weekends due to the reduced track time this year.

Perez: Compressed practice time hindering 2021 progress
Listen to this article

Perez was signed by Red Bull to partner Max Verstappen for this season after his exit from Racing Point, becoming the fourth different driver in the team’s second seat in as many years.

Perez said before the season began that he expected to take four or five races to get up to speed, and has scored less than half as many points as Verstappen so far. A difficult weekend in Spain saw Perez qualify eighth before recovering to fifth in the race, but he finished 48 seconds off Verstappen, who took his fourth podium in a row.

Perez explained after the race that the lack of track time has left him only feeling fully confident by the end of the weekend. Friday’s F1 practice sessions have been cut from 90 minutes to 60 minutes, giving drivers an hour’s less track time each weekend.

“I'm getting more confident with the car obviously,” Perez said following Sunday’s race in Spain. “Every time I get to the end of the weekend, I'm like, ‘I wish we can just start it now’. [With] how limited track time is these days, it's very hard to get up to speed.

“But I think this weekend was a particular one from yesterday, not being able to be at my 100%, it's a big difference.

“So yeah, I’ll just forget this one and go back again in Monaco, learn from what we've done and hopefully come back stronger.”

Read Also:

Perez is yet to finish a race any higher than fourth, and although he was able to qualify second at Imola, he downplayed it being a sign that he had unlocked the full performance of the Red Bull RB16B yet.

Perez said that he wanted to keep making progress so he could string a full weekend together and hit the ground running, cutting down the time it takes him to get up to speed.

“It’s important to keep making those steps and put the whole weekend together,” Perez said. “It just takes me a bit too long to get up to speed. When we went to a new circuit, the full Friday, I'm adapting my style. So I'm not there with the car yet.

“You see that things are coming, but not together. But I think once we are able to put them together, definitely we have the pace to be able to go pretty quick.”

Since Daniel Ricciardo’s exit from the team at the end of 2018, the second Red Bull driver has scored just two podium finishes, both coming courtesy of Albon last year. By comparison, Verstappen has picked up 34 podiums in the same period.

Asked what he could learn from comparing his data to Verstappen’s, Perez was hopeful it would show him how to adjust his driving style to get the most out of the car.

“[It can show] how to drive the car, really, and how to get the maximum out of it, and how to adapt myself to a driving style,” Perez said.

“That’s the thing that I'm working on the most. And every circuit is different. It’s not like you learn something here and it will work in Monaco.”

shares
comments

Related video

Baku rules out F1 race date swap with Turkish GP
Previous article

Baku rules out F1 race date swap with Turkish GP

Next article

Steiner: Wolff “wanted a little bit of publicity” with FIA call

Steiner: Wolff “wanted a little bit of publicity” with FIA call
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022