Sergio Perez says the way Alex Albon openly told him of the difficulties he’d faced with the Red Bull car helped the Mexican settle in more quickly and deliver his first victory in Azerbaijan.
Albon had a difficult 2020 season alongside Max Verstappen, picking up two podiums but often failing to be in the mix at the front and leaving his teammate fighting two Mercedes cars alone. At the end of the year, Red Bull went outside of its driver pool to sign Perez, and he duly won his sixth race for the team in Baku. Perez praised the team spirit that has helped him perform after Verstappen stayed to celebrate after his retirement while leading.
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“I think we’ve got a pretty good team,” Perez said. “I think what Max did was great to see. He really deserved the win — he did everything perfect that weekend, he was just very unlucky.
“And with Alex as well, he’s putting in so much work into the simulator and with the engineers. I remember when I came here, you wouldn’t expect him to be so open in a way with me, but he explained to me all the issues that he had and how the car works.
While no longer racing for the team, Albon continues to attend the races as reserve driver for Red Bull Racing and remains integral to its efforts, Perez says. Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images
“That was very nice since day one to have from him, so I really appreciated that. And I appreciate the work he is doing weekend after weekend with the team and in the simulator. This is teamwork and ultimately we are there thanks to every single individual in this team.”
With Albon having lost his seat after Red Bull rarely had two cars competing at the front, Perez says his win is even more important because it shows the team it has all the tools it needs to win the constructors’ title.
“I feel very, very proud first of all. It’s a victory that really shows the amount of work that we’ve put in since basically the 1st of January, and it just shows hard work always pays off. So I’m very proud and it’s a great boost for the whole team to know that we’ve got two cars that we can fight with, and we really want to win this championship.”