Perez hails Red Bull’s ‘tremendous’ winter push and warns team will start 2023 ‘much stronger’ than last year
Sergio Perez believes Red Bull will be in a far better place heading into the 2023 campaign than they were this time 12 months ago, saying the team did “the most we could” during pre-season testing in Bahrain.
Perez and Red Bull ended the test week fastest with a time of 1m 30.305s posted on the final evening as teams up and down the grid bolted on the soft Pirelli compounds and delivered more performance-focused runs.
Asked to sum up his and Red Bull’s three days, Perez said: “Yeah, I think they’ve been pretty intense. Testing is very short, so it’s very important to get the maximum out of it. It worked really well.
“I think we got a good understanding of our car. We did a lot of analysis on set-up, tyres, so I think we did the most we could. We completed our programmes [on each day], so [I’m] pleased with that.”
Perez added that in addition to a “good base” and encouraging reliability, both he and team mate Max Verstappen – who was quickest on the first day of running – are “aiming for the same things” with the new RB19 package.
“I think the team has done a tremendous job. Back in Milton Keynes, all the factory has been working really hard over the winter. We’ve certainly got a good base car,” he commented.
“I think we will only find out next weekend where we really are. I think on these days we don’t get to see the full picture. We want to be up there.
“It will be an important weekend, conditions are going to be a bit similar to what we just experienced tonight, so it will be great to start the season much stronger than we did last year.”
Verstappen echoed Perez’s sentiments, declaring that Red Bull “definitely took a step forward” as they look to defend both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships in 2023.
“I think as a team you always learn, and you always try to do better than the years before... and I do think this year again the car really came nicely together,” the Dutchman told Sky Sports F1.
“Once we put it out on track, it was working well, we had a good balance, so that also shows that throughout the winter, all the preparation we were doing on the simulator was very accurate.
“I’m of course very happy with that, because that gives you a good base to work from on-track, but also back at the factory. The evolution of the car compared to last year seems to work very nicely, so everyone back at the factory did a very good job.”