Former Formula 1 driver Mark Webber says his old Red Bull team have recovered well from the shaky start they endured to the 2022 season.
Ferrari recorded a one-two in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix after Max Verstappen suffered a reliability failure late on, and Sergio Perez later became a victim of the same fuel pick-up problem, making it only the fourth time in their history that they walked away from the first race scoreless.
Perez was denied victory from pole by an unfortunate Safety Car in Jeddah, but the reigning champion was there to pick up the pieces and take his first win of the year.
The Bulls’ anguish returned two weeks later in Melbourne, however, as Verstappen retired from second place, although Perez was this time able to secure second as a result.
Since Australia, the Milton Keynes-based side have won all of the last four rounds, with the Dutchman taking victory in Imola, Miami and Spain, before Perez recorded his first win of the year last time out in Monaco.
After reliability issues, a couple of tantrums from Verstappen, and Ferrari’s imperious pace at the beginning of the year, Red Bull have now pulled it together and are delivering crucial results.
“They’ve had some wobbles though haven’t they at Red Bull, bit of reliability here and there,” Webber said in Monaco.
“He [Max] has had some interesting moments, [a] bit of frustration coming through, but when it counts, Red Bull are there, they’re delivering, getting the runs on the board.”
Perez is fully aware of the significance of winning in Monaco, as well as becoming the first Mexican driver in 50 years to win a race when he took the chequered flag in Bahrain in 2020 with Racing Point.
“I’m a big fan of my sport. So, certainly knowing what it means to win a race like this. I mean, they’re all very important, but certainly this is very special,” said the now three-time race winner.
“And it goes very, very high in the list for my country. And yeah, I certainly feel like at the moment, I’m the only Mexican – or even Latin American – driver on the grid.”
Since his victory, Red Bull have announced a new deal for Perez that keeps him at the team until at least the end of 2024.