Lewis Hamilton believes Sergio Perez's recent improvement in form means the Mexican will now start to play a role in the title fight.
Perez was able to play tail gunner for Max Verstappen in Azerbaijan, fending off Hamilton's advances after the pit stop sequence after the Red Bull driver got ahead using the overcut. After Verstappen's tyre failure, Perez took the victory after Hamilton made a brake settings error at the restart.
"I mean, the car is incredibly fast," Hamilton said when asked about whether Perez is now an additional concern for him in the title fight.
Speaking to select members of the media, including RacingNews365, Hamilton explained, "So I think undoubtedly, the two of them together will make it difficult. That's what we expected at the beginning of the year. And so we're just gonna just keep our head down."
Perez had a slow start to his Red Bull career, as the Mexican driver adjusted to a very different car to the Racing Point he stepped out of at the end of 2020. There were flashes of speed, particularly on race day, and Perez now seems to be stepping up to the performance level Red Bull have signed him up for.
"I think I mean, that's where you can see clearly, the Red Bull is the quickest at the moment," Hamilton sighed.
"Very, very hard to to keep up with them today. And so to have been in the mix, and in that position was really, really amazing experience. And it's quite a humbling experience, actually to come away with nothing. After all the hard work, but these things happen."