Doohan sees the season becoming difficult for Pérez: ‘It is important to switch quickly’

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Doohan sees the season becoming difficult for Pérez: 'It is important to switch quickly'

Red Bull Racing could not have started the new Formula 1 season better with two one-twos for Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez and therefore the maximum number of points in the constructors’ championship. Moreover, the gap between the two drivers of the Austrian racing stable in Saudi Arabia was a lot smaller than during the first race in Bahrain. “He does enough,” says Alpine reserve driver Jack Doohan about Pérez in the F1 Nation podcast.

“We can see that he is two to four tenths slower than Max,” says the Australian. According to him, there is nothing wrong with the Mexican at the moment, but emphasizes that this will not necessarily remain the case for the entire season. “If the rest of the field manages to reduce the gap with Red Bull to one or two tenths, he will have to get more out of the car to maintain the lead in the constructors’ championship.” However, Pérez does not have to fear for his seat for the time being. “For now, he’s doing what he has to do.”

Pérez focuses less on beating Verstappen

Diego Meija, journalist and compatriot of Pérez, says that the Mexican is satisfied at the moment. “Max has done a perfect job, but Checo is happy with how the season has started.” Red Bull’s number two would have approached the new season differently than he did last year. “He wants to enjoy it more and is taking it race by race.” Meija does not say a word about Pérez’s ambitions to become world champion. ‘He is less focused on beating Max. It’s a decisive year and he’s had a great start.’

Doohan sees positive and negative sides to Pérez’s new approach. “The first rule is you have to beat your teammate. You have the same car and there is always pressure.’ Yet he also sees that Pérez’s seat is safe at the moment. ‘He provides one-two punches and so he does what he has to do.’ The Australian does not know what to expect from the rest of the season. The gap to Verstappen can become smaller, but also larger. “Everything is possible,” he says.

Urge to keep up with Verstappen made the car slower

Meija is hopeful that his compatriot’s approach will work. ‘By trying to keep up with Max, he slowed down the car. He realized that after the season.’ According to the journalist, the new mindset and the good relationship with his side of the garage can help prevent this from happening again. ‘He has a good relationship with them. They appreciate Checo’s support and they make him stronger.” Meija would like to see the rest of the season go as well as the first two races. “Hopefully he can keep it up, because it won’t be easy,” he says.

Doohan agrees, but also knows that the full calendar can work to the Red Bull driver’s disadvantage. ‘There are 24 races and sometimes there are three Grands Prix in a row. If you have a bad weekend, you only have about three days until the next weekend.” So it is important for Pérez to switch quickly. “Everyone is coming at you and it’s hard to ignore.” The Alpine man thinks it is smart that the driver looks at it race by race. “And so far it’s going just fine.”

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