Red Bull’s Sergio Perez has said his front row at Imola was surprising and unexpected as he looks ahead to Portimao.
Second place at Imola in his second Red Bull start was impressive for all to see, not least Perez himself to do. It was his first career front row and could well have been pole, as he was only 0.035sec off polesitter Lewis Hamilton.
Perez has been open about the challenges he has faced in adapting to the high rake, Honda powered Red Bull car, which is vastly different to the low rake, Mercedes powered Racing Point which he has driven in past seasons. In an interview with F1 he admits second on the grid was surprising and unexpected.
“I was very pleased with my progression after qualifying on the front row at Imola. I think I even surprised myself to be that quick in only my second race weekend at Red Bull and to be able to extract the maximum from the car in such a short amount of time.”
“Looking back at it, I think being able to adapt to such a different car and driving style definitely gives me a big confidence boost and it showed me I can adapt well. I am starting to understand the car and that was the main positive.”
“You can see with everyone that has changed teams this year, it takes time to get up to speed. Everyone is good, everyone is exceptionally fast, it’s just a process you need to go through before everything comes to you naturally, and hopefully, we can achieve that in the opening races of the season.’
Unfortunately, the Mexican spun away a potential top 5 early in the second half of the race, but he hopes he can redeem himself this weekend in Portugal for the Portuguese Grand Prix.