Sergio Perez sends Red Bull warning as Aston Martin look very strong

Red Bull are the clear favourites not only to win the Bahrain Grand Prix but the championship as a whole this year.

In 2022, Red Bull were almost unbeatable, with Max Verstappen’s record-shattering 15 wins leading the team to victory in both championships.

It seems that the energy drink giants have picked up where they left off this season as well, with Max Verstappen or Sergio Perez finding themselves at the top of the timing screens at the end of all three days of pre-season testing.

The RB19 appears to simply be an evolution of the RB18, allowing the team to build and develop the concepts that worked so well for them last season.

Sergio Perez will be looking to step out from Max Verstappen’s shadow this year following two seasons of playing the wingman role and the Mexican has admitted that he feels very comfortable with the RB19.

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“I think we have a better understanding of the car. We have a better package,” he said.

“I did feel very comfortable with it through testing. So we will see. I think we have a really good base for all of us.

“I think just in general we have improved quite a bit. I think the main thing is the balance of it. We made it a little bit more together from all speed ranges, which is very positive.”

The Mexican has however warned Red Bull to be patient ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, as pre-season testing results often do not tell the full story, as teams run different fuel loads, run plans and tyre compounds.

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“I think it’s a matter of just being patient. I think no one really knows what everyone is at,” he said.

“Bahrain is a very unique track there. The track changes quite a lot through the day, so there’s a lot of uncertainties at the moment, but we are about to find out. I think we will find out on Saturday once we see all the cars running on the same track.”

Perez topped the timing screens during FP1 on Friday, the first indicator that the Mexican could be a genuine title challenger this year.