Date published: January 27 2019
Sergio Perez believes he was put in the shadow of former teammate and the “next big thing” Esteban Ocon.
Perez finished P8 in the Drivers’ Championship last season, four places and 13 points ahead of Ocon, and collected a podium in Azerbaijan while the Frenchman had a best finish of P6.
The Mexican has picked up eight podiums in a Formula 1 career which began back in 2011 with Sauber. He would move to McLaren in 2013 before joining Force India in 2014, where he remains today with the re-branded Racing Point entry.
Speaking to Motorsport.com, Perez said: “It’s like people just get used to me.
“When I was new here, everyone was talking about me and I was the next big thing, as Esteban is right now.”
Despite being outqualified 16-5 by Ocon in 2018, Perez believes his race performances made up for it.
“I think results are clear,” Perez said. “He was the better one in qualifying, although the margin was extremely small.
“It is less than a tenth between us in qualifying. And I was the better one in the races. I got the most points and also the best results.
“But it was really close between us up to now.”
Perez wanted to make clear that he wasn’t taking credit away from Ocon, but that his one-lap pace was hindered by a lack of feeling for the car.
“I didn’t feel very confident this year with the car to be honest,” explained Perez.
“I did struggle quite a lot throughout the year to balance the car, but I did manage to get the most out of it in the race.
“That’s to take nothing away from him. I didn’t get on with it and he did better in qualifying.
“That’s it. It is up to me and to my team to get the best out of the car
“I think in other years I’ve been more comfortable with the car on Saturday, and [last year] I probably focused quite a bit on Sundays too.”