F1 driver Sergio Perez described his debut season at Red Bull as “starting from zero”, saying he was completely blank at the start.

Perez joined Red Bull after spending seven years with Racing Point (previously Force India). With the Milton-Keynes outfit, he reached the front of the grid on a consistent basis thanks to the superior machinery of his team.

His first season with his new team was solid, if a little unspectacular. Although he was getting good results, his qualifying pace was a glaring weakness, as was his inability to match his teammate’s results.

As a result, Perez described his debut season at Red Bull as “starting from zero”, saying it was a year of adaptability.

In an exclusive interview with RacingNews365.com, Perez said, “I think it has been a really challenging year from my side, arriving into such a different team, (with) such a different philosophy.

“There are teams in Formula 1 that are closer to each other in terms of driving, in terms of setting up cars, the way you look after the tyres, and here I came to a team that was 100 per cent different – it had very little similarities to what I’ve done in Formula 1 in the past.

Perez (pictured) celebrates with his team in Mexico. Source: Red Bull

“Basically, I had to start from zero, learn new techniques of setting up the car, of driving the car, and it’s been a great challenge. I think it has put me into another level as a driver, (in) that I had to learn a different way of driving.”

Mastering the machine

“The car is unbelievable when it’s at its right window; it’s very, very challenging to get the tyres and to get the car in that sweet spot – it’s not been easy,” Checo continued.

“It has a certain technique, like every Formula 1 car, if they have a very small window where they operate, and this is the same.

“To find the sweet spot, I think it takes time, and I think (with) the Red Bull more than any other car in the paddock, due to the characteristics of how you have to drive the car.”

Read more: Perez reveals retirement plans ahead of Red Bull call – “Would have ended my career”

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