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Perez sets target for Bahrain after going fastest in testing

After setting the fastest lap time on the final day of pre-season testing in Bahrain, Sergio Perez has outlined his hopes for what he and Red Bull can achieve at the first race of the campaign.

Sergio Perez has targetted a stronger start to the season for Red Bull than in 2022 amid setting the fastest lap during pre-season testing. The Mexican topped the timesheets as the three-day test drew to a close, beating Lewis Hamilton by 0.359 seconds at the end of Saturday. Overall, Perez feels that Red Bull had a successful few days in Bahrain. "[It's] been very intense. Testing is very short, so it's very important to get the maximum out of it," Perez told F1 TV . "It worked really well. I think we got a good understanding of our car. Obviously, Bahrain is very difficult in testing. "The track is changing pretty much every time you go out. [The] tarmac is very rough, so just in general I think it's a difficult track to test [at], but I think we did the most we could. "We did a lot of analysis on set-ups and tyres. We completed our programmes on both days, so [I'm] pleased with that."

Perez hails Red Bull for 'tremendous job'

While he admits that their performance in comparison to their rivals will not become clear until the season-opening race in Bahrain on 5 March, Perez has praised Red Bull for what they have achieved so far in preparing for 2023. "I think the team have done a tremendous job back in Milton Keynes," he explained. "The factory has been working really hard over the winter. We've certainly got a good pace car. "I think we will only find out next weekend where we really are. We don't get to see the full picture [at testing]."

Can Red Bull start 2023 better than 2022?

Despite their success in 2022, the season did not get off to the best of starts for Red Bull, with the team suffering a double DNF in the first race due to mechanical issues. Perez is glad to see that reliability has seemingly increased ahead of 2023. "You can see the improvements," he commented. "Normally, in the second year of the same generation [of cars], you see a lot of improvements in the car reliability side, so it was the same for us. We ran without any big problems." As such, Perez is targetting a better opening race weekend for Red Bull when the season kicks off in Bahrain. "We want to be up there," the four-time race winner said. "It will be an important weekend. Conditions are going to be a bit similar to what we just experienced tonight, so it will be great to start the season much stronger than we did last year."

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