Sergio Perez says Racing Point needs its Barcelona upgrade package despite securing an impressive sixth place in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Prior to this weekend, Perez was the only driver to stand on the podium more than once in Baku, and he again delivered a strong drive, qualifying fifth and finishing in the top six. With Racing Point picking up points with both cars – either side of the two McLarens – and a solitary point for Alfa Romeo standing as the only other midfield score, Perez’s team moved up to fifth in the constructors’ standings, but the Mexican is looking forward to a more competitive car.
“I’m very pleased, with Lance [Stroll] scoring good points and us having a good day and other teams – apart from McLaren – struggling to get some points,” Perez said. “So it has been a good weekend all-in-all for the team, and now we look forward to Barcelona. Hopefully the upgrades move us forward a lot and we can be more competitive in that midfield group.
“I think the circuit suits the car more than others. Barcelona is probably one of the tough ones for us, so we will see where we are there with the new package and the new upgrade. We have a good package coming for Barcelona – as everyone else does, I guess –so hopefully our package brings more than others.”
Perez believes that the effort required to hold off pressure from the McLaren pair of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz in Azerbaijan underscores the need for Racing Point to take a step forward with its Spain updates.
“[Baku] was very tough,” he said. “It was a race when I spent the whole race on the full limit, just trying to get as much lap time out of it. It was looking good after Lap 1, I was ahead of Verstappen – I overtook him at the start – but then very early on we realized that he was not our race, and I was more concerned about the McLarens, because they were very strong all the way through. They pushed me massively, and I basically spent the whole race on the limit.
“I think the race was even better (than qualifying), given the pace I had in the first stint and how my race went throughout. I was on the limit for the whole race apart from the last two laps, so it was very demanding. No mistakes, no lock-ups and it was the only way to keep the McLarens behind, because they were a lot faster than us.”