Sergio Perez: Red Bull driver ready to prove he can 'take next step'

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez visits the Red Bull factory in Milton Keynes for the first time

Sergio Perez says his move to Red Bull is a chance to prove he can compete at the highest level in Formula 1.

The Mexican, who took his maiden win at the Sakhir Grand Prix in 2020, has spent his decade in the sport in teams usually competing in the midfield.

The 30-year-old said: "I waited all my career for an opportunity with a top team and I am so much looking forward to making it work.

"It's a moment for me to prove it to myself that I can take the next step."

He added: "These opportunities only come once in your life."

Perez moves to Red Bull after seven years at the team last known as Racing Point and before that Force India.

Previously he spent a year at McLaren when they began their competitive decline in 2013 and was at Sauber in 2011-12.

Speaking in an interview with Red Bull on a visit to the team's factory in Milton Keynes, he said he considered driving alongside team-mate Max Verstappen "a big challenge".

"We all know how talented Max is, how much he has grown and how complete he is," Perez said. "He his one of the fastest, if not the fastest, on the current grid."

And he said the opportunity to work with Red Bull's legendary design chief Adrian Newey was "a dream come true".

He said the level of engineering capability in the team was "very impressive" but emphasised that it will take him time to find his feet.

"It's like a dog finding a new family," Perez said. "You've been a family for so many years and you are used to seeing them and then all of a sudden you are changing.

"But I have to say, I am starting to feel very comfortable here. It's a fantastic team, very united, and I can see that there is a lot of fun ahead of us."

Perez has driven the Red Bull car in the simulator and said he was "getting there".

"I have a good idea of what the Red Bull car is like," he said. "It's already in the back of my head, the car, but we are in that time where nothing comes easy.

"I have been in the sport in different teams, in different eras and I think I know what I need from myself, but I also feel that I can push the team forwards in certain areas just by talking to the team.

"And I think we know the direction. Obviously, I have to wait and drive the car but there are already some good ideas that we have been sharing with the team that hopefully can bring some performance on track."

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