After putting in the work following Sochi, Sergio Perez returns to action with Red Bull hoping to make the Turkish Grand Prix podium.
Formula 1 heads to Turkey for the second successive season, and it as an event where Red Bull will pay tribute to their departing engine manufacturer Honda with a special white livery.
Perez is looking to mark this occasion with a much-needed strong result and there is certainly reason for optimism, considering his P2 finish at Istanbul Park for Racing Point in 2020.
Since moving to Red Bull though, it has not been smooth sailing as Perez’s wait for a first podium finish since June goes on, while his qualifying form has also been a major concern.
But his confidence in the RB16B remains high, so after some “intense” post-Russian Grand Prix homework, Perez is ready to chase back-to-back Turkish podiums.
“I have a lot of confidence in this car and I think we’ve shown good speed lately,” said Perez.
“However, I am aware we have to put everything together to get the car in the right place on the grid and score a lot of points. We need those points to be at the top of the championship at the end of the season.
“We did a lot of work after Russia to analyse what went wrong and what went well and what we can do to improve.
“I also spent a bit more time on the sim for the race weekend in Turkey, so we did some pretty intensive homework for this weekend.
“I’m now looking forward to the last seven races and I’m sure our luck will turn around. We perform well on the track, but now we have to show that with our results on the Sunday. I want to be back on the podium this weekend.”
Perez is certainly out of the title conversation by this stage, trailing his team-mate Max Verstappen, who sits P2 in the standings, by 124.5 points.
He remains vitally important to Red Bull’s Constructors’ Championship bid though, with the Austrian-owned outfit desperately needing Perez’s assistance in reducing the 33-point gap to Mercedes.