GMM) Sergio Perez says he can handle the “pressure” of his expiring one-year contract.
After an early struggle, the 31-year-old Mexican is now performing well alongside championship leader Max Verstappen at Red Bull.
It has triggered speculation he is set to be retained for another season.
“A driver always does his best, whether he has a contract for one year or not,” Perez told the French magazine Auto Hebdo.
“The extra pressure is good for me and the team as well. The goal is to always get the full potential from the material you have.”
Red Bull chiefs say they have been impressed with the way Perez does not seek radical car changes, but is instead happy to adapt to the car that is leading the drivers’ standings.
“Max and I have different driving styles,” he said, “but in the end we ask for the same things.
“On Friday we explore the car in our own way and then build in the direction that we see is best.
“That may not be very comfortable, but it is certainly effective. The car is more difficult to drive, but it’s faster,” Perez added.
“The biggest difference between Max and I is small,” he continued. “I tend to set the car up more for the race.”
Perez says he has also had to “get used to” the “very different” way the Honda engine works in comparison with the Mercedes he is more used to.
As for whether team orders may soon dictate that he fall in line behind Verstappen on track, Perez answered: “We don’t have a code of conduct within the team.
“We are old enough to understand that the team comes first.”