Perez can already feel the potential in RB16B

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Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez

After his first full day driving his new car, Sergio Perez says that he can already feel just how much potential the RB16B has.

Red Bull made the perfect start to pre-season testing as Max Verstappen topped the timesheets and did the most laps on Day One.

It was Perez’s turn to take the wheel on Saturday and, focusing on longer runs on the hard tyre, he too surpassed a century of laps, completing 117.

Discussing his first official session as a Red Bull driver, the Mexican said that he’s getting to grips with a car that he thinks has a lot of promise.

“It was great to do a full day of testing in the RB16B and even though conditions are very tricky out there we got through plenty of work and there is plenty of development to come,” he said.

“It’s great to be working with the team and I’m getting more and more used to things – I can already feel the potential.

“I have the morning tomorrow in the car, so I’m looking forward to getting in some more laps.”

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It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Checo as he caused the session to be suspended when, after pulling out from behind Nichola Latifi, his engine cover was taken off the car by wind.

Remarkably though, he didn’t even notice at first, and says that it didn’t hinder the plans too much.

“As you saw on the TV, I couldn’t feel when that happened, just the car felt a bit more difficult, but other than that I think the team is sorting it out, we didn’t lose much track time actually, was the same for everyone because there was a red flag, unfortunately for the others.

“Overall given that we lost some track time earlier in the morning I think overall it has been a good day, conditions are very tricky out there, very different to yesterday, so yeah plenty of work and developing to do from here on.”

Perez will remain at the wheel of the car for the morning session on the final day of pre-season testing before Verstappen takes his place for the last four hours of running.

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