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Hamilton-Verstappen battle taking Perez to "new level"

Hamilton-Verstappen battle taking Perez to "new level"

F1 News

Hamilton-Verstappen battle taking Perez to "new level"

Hamilton-Verstappen battle taking Perez to "new level"
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Sergio Perez has revealed his on-track battles with Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen has taken him to "a new level" in F1.

The Mexican has taken one race victory since his winter switch to the top-of-the-table team from Racing Point, breaking the apparent curse of being Verstappen's partner and helping Red Bull's charge against Mercedes.

After spending almost his entire career in the midfield with Sauber, Force India, Racing Point and a disappointing season at McLaren, Perez has explained how his mindset has now changed since racing at the front.

"It is obviously a big boost of motivation throughout the season to come to a race and know that if you deliver to your maximum, you can end up winning a race, you have that opportunity," said Perez.

"Also, the pressure is on, you know you have to deliver to a very high level. You are competing against the very best drivers, against a very top team like Mercedes.

"The level of delivering is to a new level and every single point and the way the team works, trying to maximise every single performance point is very important. You are onto the next level.

"The race that I had with Hamilton, literally, against him I was fortunate enough to see how good he is.

"The way that he pushes you at the time he does push you and when he saves his tyres... he is obviously a very intelligent guy. The same to Max. Racing these drivers at this level definitely takes you to a new level."

Perez expects strategic Austrian Grand Prix

With F1 returning to the Red Bull Ring for the second race in a row for the Austrian Grand Prix, Pirelli has selected the softest tyres in its range, a step softer than the allocation for the Styrian event.

With conditions expected to be cooler, however, Perez added: "They compensate for each other.

"The softer compounds with the lower temperatures, they kind of compensate for each other so we might not see such a big difference.

"But it won't be as easy as last weekend to be on the one-stop so I really hope we can have a better race in that regard.

"A mix of cars on the two-stop and the one, that is always what makes a very interesting race until the final lap."

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