Sergio Perez, Red Bull’s Formula 1 driver, believes that his team-mate and 2021 world champion Max Verstappen has helped him evolved over the season.
The Mexican switched from Racing Point F1 team. He struggled to get himself accustomed to the team and RB16B for most of the season.
Perez motivation boosted after the Baku victory in June. He managed third position for four times which helped him secure third place on drivers’ standing. Nonetheless, he remained 205.5 points behind his team mate.
The Checo helped his team mate at F1 finale in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He held up Lewis Hamilton helping Verstappen to close the gap on the Mercedes title rival.
Verstappen acknowledged his team mate efforts and called him “a legend” in a radio message.
“Very intense,” claimed Perez about his last season. “It’s been extremely intensive. A lot of work has been done behind the scenes, a lot of pressure.
“When you are at Red Bull Racing the pressure is on and everyone is watching you, what you do and you guys are obviously a lot harder to a Red Bull driver, which is very understandable.
“But it hasn’t been easy, but it has brought me onto another level, and having Max as a team-mate it really pushes you to new levels. I’m enjoying it a lot at this point of my career, I’m very happy, and that’s the most important.”
Perez responded to the question regarding Verstappen’s performance. The Mexican supported his team mate and claims that he is strong across the performance areas.
“He’s really good. He’s really at one with the car. He’s very good in qualifying, he’s really good at the races,” Perez added.
“He’s very complete, experienced. I mean, the season he has done I think it’s been legend, you know, it’s really impressive, and big praise to him. He’s really at one with the car.”
Perez confessed that he has to work hard for next year. He claims that he “lacked the consistency” this year and will require to raise his level.
“When you are out of position and so on… I think the main thing I lacked was consistency to constantly be at 100% with the car,” Perez said.
“I have to raise my game for next year. And yeah, hopefully, we are all able to go forward.”
Perez appreciated Verstappen’s victory and said: “Honestly it does, because Max has been a great team mate since day one to me, and the team has been fantastic to me. And I was in a position to support my team mate.
“I’m extremely happy for everyone. You know, it’s a shame at the end, we didn’t get the constructors’, but I think it was just a couple of points at the end. And some bad luck here and there. But I look forward to next year.”