Sergio Perez fully believes he can maintain his standards from Baku at other tracks after taking his first win with Red Bull.
The qualifying gremlins remained for Perez as he lined up P6 for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but the way he made up for that was nothing short of sublime.
Swiftly Perez cleared Carlos Sainz and Pierre Gasly in the race, putting himself just behind the battle for the lead and then jumping Lewis Hamilton through the pit-stops.
Perez withstood heavy pressure from the chasing Hamilton, inheriting the lead of the race following Max Verstappen’s tyre blowout.
But the Mexican held firm, freeing himself of Hamilton’s attention when the Briton went off at Turn 1 as the race resumed, and from there Perez took the chequered flag as a Red Bull driver for the first time.
It was certainly the breakthrough performance Perez needed, and with that now in the bag he sees no reason why he cannot repeat that standard at the races to come.
“It certainly feels I’ve made good progress, not just this weekend, also in Monaco,” he said, quoted by Motorsport.com.
“Every weekend, the understanding grows and after each weekend we do a very deep analysis. We do a lot of work back in the factory to try to figure out what we can do better as a team.
“But yes, certainly I think we are getting there. We are improving and I see no reason why, going to a different track, we cannot be able to have a similar kind of performance.
“Definitely my confidence is growing. The understanding with the team is getting there. It’s only race number six of the season, there’s still plenty to go.
“But it’s important to keep this momentum and to keep improving, race after race.”
Perez said he had been showing “flashes” of speed during those early rounds, though his process of adapting to the Red Bull RB16B was tougher than he had originally planned for.
“We didn’t have the start of the season we were hoping for,” Perez conceded.
“I found my adaptation harder than expected, but we have been working extremely hard since day one with the engineers back at the factory.
“Finally we got a very good result for the team. We have been showing flashes of speed here and there. But I think [in Baku] everything was looking great until Q3 run one when we got it wrong. But we didn’t let ourselves [get] down. We looked forward and we had a tremendous race.
“I’m extremely pleased with the result. This definitely gives a big boost of confidence to myself and also to my team, to my side of the garage. We have such a roller-coaster through the season, it’s important to enjoy these moments.”
With that victory in Baku, Perez rose to P3 in the Drivers’ Championship, 36 points adrift of his team-mate and title leader Verstappen.