Damon Hill has claimed that everything is trending in the right direction for Sergio Perez this season, after the Red Bull driver took an emotional first win for the team.
Perez capitalised on misfortune for the likes of Lewis Hamilton and teammate Max Verstappen, to take the chequered flag at the F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku. For Hill, this is an excellent sign of things to come.
"I think it's a trend [Perez's form]. I think it's a good trend. It's trending in the right direction," Hill stated on the F1 Nation podcast.
"I think he's building strength and confidence and the team are doing so in him as well. So yeah, I think it takes a while to jump into a new car, a new team and find out how it all works.
"But I think we've seen flashes of his performance when he gets going in a race. He's not like some drivers who only qualify well. I'd say Valtteri [Bottas] qualifies well and then doesn't perform quite so well in the race. Whereas Sergio [Perez] typically goes better in the race."
The former Williams driver was also keen to point out how composed Perez remained under immense and sustained pressure from Lewis Hamilton.
The seven-time world champion was in hot pursuit of the 31-year-old for much of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but Perez remained calm and mistake-free throughout.
Hamilton ultimately finished outside the points after locking up at the restart, with Perez holding off Sebastian Vettel to take his first win of the season.
"For an entire race. He didn't make a single mistake. Lewis [Hamilton], you could see he was thinking he was running out of time and ideas," Hill added.
"He was on the radio all the time saying he can't stay with him in the middle sector. Perez is experienced, he's calm in the cockpit, and in a race he's very strong."