Sergio Perez says he doesn’t fear an improving Mercedes as he believes he has more potential to show himself at this weekend’s Mexico City Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton briefly moved to within 19 points of Perez in the drivers’ championship after finishing second in Austin on Sunday, before being disqualified for a technical infringement. That leaves the gap at 39 points after Perez was promoted to fourth place, but despite Hamilton having outscored him over the previous three race weekends the Mexican insists he isn’t feeling any pressure from the battle for second place overall.
“I think we didn’t get to show our full pace, so I really believe that we should be a lot stronger now than we were (in Austin),” Perez said. “It’s good to just do a full race distance and understand that there is quite a lot more potential coming.
“I’m just doing my best and we will see where we end up. I need to make sure that we are able to improve up a gear and yeah, they are improving the car, and we can see they are getting stronger and stronger every race. So, it will be a good fight which will be great the next four races.”
Perez held meetings with his Red Bull engineers ahead of the United States Grand Prix weekend to try and understand where his lack of performance was coming from in recent races, and he saw positive signs at Circuit of The Americas despite admitting he and the team played it safe with car setup.
“Overall we had good pace but the hard tire was not good enough to make more progress. So, something we’ve got to look at,” he said. “We know we compromised our balance quite a bit for the weekend, given that it was only one practice and this is what happens on a sprint event. You either go in the wrong direction or right direction, but I expected it to be a lot better.
“I think we made some very good progress. Especially considering how much we compromised the car. We believe that we left a lot of performance in there, so hopefully we are able to prove that come Mexico.”