Sergio Perez makes differing observation after first day of RB20 running

Sam Cooper
Sergio Perez in the Red Bull garage during pre-season testing.

Sergio Perez in the Red Bull garage.

Sergio Perez believes Red Bull are not as far ahead as everyone else believes and suggested the grid will be “a lot closer than we are thinking.”

The early signs coming out of pre-season testing are that Red Bull are once again the team to beat with Max Verstappen topping the times on the first day of running.

But while Sergio Perez finished P2 on Thursday, he suggested the teams are closer together than everyone else believes.

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Perez’s day was slightly truncated when a brake duct caught fire but he was nonetheless able to put in 129 laps at the Bahrain circuit.

And while he did so, plenty of people predicted that Red Bull would once again be dominant with McLaren boss Andrea Stella suggesting they had taken a “big step” from the RB19.

But Perez was not as easily convinced and stated the competition would be closer.

“I believe that things are a lot closer than we are thinking, definitely,” he said.

“I don’t really think that we’ve had much of a look [at our rivals] in that regard.

“At the moment we’re basically focused on our job, we’ve been so busy with our programme. I think tomorrow, there will be a bit more of an idea, but I think we will find out next Sunday [after the Bahrain Grand Prix].” recommends

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As for the RB20, Perez said it was a “step forward” but was not surprised considering the previous achievements of the team.

“Generally speaking, it’s definitely a step forward in the right direction with the car,” he said.

“It’s obviously a very tricky track, with the morning to the afternoon, dialling in some set-up, and getting to understand some set-up compound. It’s very tricky because the track is changing pretty much every outing, so you have to base everything pretty much on your feeling.

Obviously we had a very dominant car last year. I think we all expected to carry on with a similar concept, but Red Bull always surprise us, and the people back at the factory are really brave and they’ve done a great job.”

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