Sergio Perez called it “a dream come true” to drive a Red Bull Formula 1 car for the first time after completing his first outing for the team at Silverstone.
After his winter change from Racing Point, Grand Prix winner Sakhir Perez took to the track for the first time in a Red Bull car on Tuesday as part of his pre-season preparations.
Perez drove a Red Bull RB15 car to 2019 specs in a private test at Silverstone before sampling the 2021 RB16B during a filming day shakedown on Wednesday.
Although Perez had been working hard with the Red Bull team at his Milton Keynes factory for the past few weeks and running in his simulator, he was delighted to hit the track for the first time.
“It was an amazing day, my first day with Red Bull Racing,” said Perez.
“To look at my name on the car, it’s something extremely special and something that’s definitely a dream come true.
“I have to say I’m happy with the progress we’ve made in terms of comfort. Obviously I’ve been driving in a car for seven years, in a cockpit, in a seat, with some pedals., So just position yourself, that ‘ is quite a challenge.
“We are working hard. We have really taken some good steps in this area, and I have to say that on the first day I felt very comfortable.”
Perez was signed by Red Bull after an extremely impressive 2020 season which saw the Mexican finish fourth in the Drivers’ Championship and claim his first Grand Prix victory.
The move to a top team comes after a seven-season spell with the Racing Point team, making the changes all the more visible for Perez.
“It’s still a Formula 1 car in the end, but the seat position is different, [as is] the steering wheel, the grip, the buttons, the procedures, the power unit, the power delivered, the torque, ”explained Perez.
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“We did a lot of preparation, so many days in the simulator, at the factory, with the controls, to master everything. I have to say I am very happy with how my first day went as I was on top of all the procedures obviously improving and learning.
“But I think the preparation we have done up to this test day has been good. I think it was very useful to have this first day with the team.”
After sharing the day’s shooting duties with new teammate Max Verstappen on Wednesday at Silverstone, Perez will sample the 2021 car as pre-season testing begins in Bahrain next month.
But with just three separate days between riders before the new season begins, Perez said additional test days, even on older machines, were hugely helpful.
“It’s very, very good to have these days with the team, to know my boys, to know the engineers, just to have a smoother conversation,” Perez said.
“The way I explain the car is different from what they’ve been used to, and vice versa as well. Being comfortable in the cockpit is important, so when we get to Bahrain I can just focus on the getting the performance right.
“With a day and a half in the car, it’s really nothing. So the more we can do here, the better prepared we will be for the first test in Bahrain.”