The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola
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The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

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After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Perez doesn't yet look an upgrade on Albon

Alex Albon could probably allow himself a wry smile. So often last season he was (rightly) castigated for failing to perform at the crucial moments, leaving Red Bull disadvantaged in its battle with Mercedes.

Red Bull replaced Albon with Sergio Perez because it felt Perez's experience would make up the deficit, but Perez's first race with his new team was below par. Impressed by the way Red Bull takes "everything to the limit", Perez is so far struggling to find the limits of the RB16B himself. Partly, that's to be expected. Perez himself is on record saying it will take five races to get fully up to speed. But he would have expected to make Q3 and finish fourth as a minimum, and he achieved neither.

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