The Mexican faced a tough challenge at the start of the 2021 F1 season in trying to adapt to the unique handling characteristics of the high rake Red Bull concept.
He admitted that his previous driving style did not suit the RB16B and he needed to rethink his approach to get the most from it.
In a bid to make his life easier, he adopted to go with the set-up that teammate Max Verstappen ran with, to avoid the risk of getting lost with changing the settings too much.
But as his confidence has increased with the car, Perez now says he has started to try some of his own things, although he is not doing things completely different.
Perez said the back-to-back races at the Red Bull Ring was the perfect opportunity to experiment with his own thing and start to explore the set-up of his car more.
And, with Verstappen having been given the latest upgrades as they arrive so the two Red Bull cars have not been in the same configuration, it has been even more important for Perez to think for himself.
Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, on the grid
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
“We’ve been exploring a lot the car,” explained Perez. “We took this opportunity to get to know the car a lot better, from the reference we had. So in the end we did the right adjustments.
“I’m starting to find my own way, my own direction progressively.
“And yeah, also when you don’t have the both cars on the same spec, on the same aerodynamic spec, it’s harder to compare, you know, to compare set-up. So it’s important that we go our [own] route in this case.”
Perez said that while at one point his set-up was completely different to Verstappen’s in Austria, he in the end came back to a halfway house solution, which seemed to suit him better in terms of overall pace.
Although Perez’s hopes of a podium finish in the Austrian GP were dashed when he was pushed wide by Lando Norris early in the race, the weekend overall had been more promising after he outqualified both Mercedes.