Sergio Perez believes his countryman Pato O’Ward has the talent to race with the very best drivers in Formula 1.
O’Ward’s IndyCar victory in Detroit came just a week after Perez picked up his first win for Red Bull in Azerbaijan. Perez praised O’Ward for his success on social media and after seeing the 22-year-old take the lead of the IndyCar championship last weekend, believes he has the potential to shine in F1 too.
“I think it was great,” Perez said. “In two weekends we got a win in Formula 1 and then in a win in IndyCar, so that’s great for our country. To be honest I think Pato is a great talent, it’s just a matter of how different IndyCar is to Formula 1 and how quickly he can adapt to Formula 1. Certainly I think he has the talent to race against the very best drivers in the world.”
While O’Ward chases the championship in the U.S., Perez says he wasn’t able to celebrate his own victory too heavily as his focus remains on getting more comfortable with what is a new car for him this year.
“I had to go back to Milton Keynes and spend a couple of days there with the marketing team, so not really much celebrations going on! But still it was a great day for the whole team and preparing for the next race and so on. We didn’t enjoy it so much in terms of celebrations but hopefully at some point we can get more together — with these COVID restrictions and so on it’s pretty hard to do something.
“Definitely we are improving and the aim is to keep developing and improving weekend after weekend. We are finding small details that at the end of the day make a good difference. I wouldn’t say we’re at 100% with the car and the team — it’s only been six races this season — but the good signs are there.
“We keep progressing so as long as we keep that trend and keep chipping away weekend after weekend, we should be in pretty good shape for the rest of the year.”