Formula 1: Sergio Perez talks key Red Bull advantage

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Formula 1 (Photo by Cristiano Barni ATPImages/Getty Images)
Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Formula 1 (Photo by Cristiano Barni ATPImages/Getty Images) /

Red Bull Formula 1 driver Sergio Perez spoke about his time with the team thus far as well as one key advantage they have, thanks to a partnership.

Sergio Perez lost his ride with Racing Point (now Aston Martin) at the end of the 2020 Formula 1 season, but he got the call from Red Bull to replace Alexander Albon alongside Max Verstappen for 2021, his 11th season in the sport.

While Red Bull had to settle for second place behind Mercedes in the constructor standings, Perez played a key role in Verstappen’s world championship run, which ended a seven-year run of Mercedes drivers winning the title. Perez’s efforts included a brilliant defense of Lewis Hamilton during the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

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His stint with Red Bull has featured a number of highlights thus far, and he spoke to us about them ahead of the inaugural Miami Grand Prix at the brand-new Miami International Autodrome.

“Well certainly, on track, winning races, winning, helping Max to win the title last year, although it was he who won it, it was really special for me to be able to help him,” Perez told Beyond the Flag.
“And just this part, this new season, working with them since Day 1, being in the process of developing the car, that’s been tremendous and something great.”

Perez also spoke to us about the advantage that he and Red Bull team have been able to attain by using innovative ExxonMobil Fuel Technology to power their cars. Last year, ExxonMobil introduced upgraded Mobil Synergy Fuel, which played a key role in the championship won by Verstappen in the RB16B.

Mobil Synergy Race Fuel improves engine power and reduces both power degradation and debris build-up.

“Having this partnership with Mobil, it’s tremendous for us,” Perez said. “It’s really important to have them on board, and they are always bringing fresh ideas. And it’s great to think that the same fuel we use, you are able to use on your road car. That’s something that I find incredible.”

The same fuel technology that powers the Milton Keynes-based team can also power everyday drivers who use their Synergy gasolines from any Exxon or Mobil station.

In the most recent race at Imola, Red Bull secured their first 1-2 finish since the 2016 season, with Verstappen winning ahead of Perez in second place.

“It was great, it was a great team effort,” Perez said of the achievement, which came in just the fourth race of the RB18. “It’s a great relationship that we have, Max, myself, the team. Just great.”

Perez has had the opportunity to drive a number of different Formula 1 cars throughout his career, and the RB18 has presented some unique challenges, especially in this new era of rules and regulations, which include a $140 million budget cap.

“Keeping the car on track, always making sure – we are really tight on parts – so making sure you use the right amount of parts because the team is pushing really hard on development,” Perez said regarding the primary challenges faced by himself and the team in 2022. “That’s really important.”

However, the new car seems to fit the 32-year-old Mexican’s driving style. He earned his first career pole position in Jeddah and followed that up with back-to-back runner-up finishes in Melbourne and Imola to vault himself up to third place in the driver standings.

“I think it’s a great car,” he said. “We’ve certainly been very competitive since Day 1. It’s just a tremendous car, just a tremendous opportunity to be partnered with Red Bull.”

While Perez and Red Bull were able to make the most of the race weekend at Imola, it still presented its own unique set of challenges in wet conditions. But the team adapted to these conditions better than anybody.

“It all behaved as expected, to be honest,” Perez explained. “The degradation was pretty high on the inter [tire] set. But then it was an intense battle with Charles [Leclerc]. Having him behind throughout the race was really intense.”

Perez also discussed this weekend’s race at the brand-new 19-turn, 3.363-mile (5.412-kilometer) Miami temporary street circuit around Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

“It’s a bit like, fast corners, a bit like Suzuka,” he said. “But then there’s also a bit of like a blind corner like Shanghai, turns 7-8, really technical. I think it has a bit of everything.”

He is looking forward to the inaugural Miami race, but beyond that, he is also looking forward to a full calendar with full capacity crowds, something that hasn’t been the case since 2019.

“This one is a unique place to come!” he concluded. “But yea, just going everywhere again, having the fans — it’s amazing.”

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The Miami Grand Prix is set to be broadcast live on ESPN from Miami International Autodrome beginning at 3:25 p.m. ET this Sunday, May 8. Take advantage of FuboTV’s free trial offer and don’t miss it!