Perez: 'Stroll can guide the team quite nicely'

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Racing Point's Sergio Perez says new team mate Lance Stroll has the ability to play a significant role in moving the pink outfit forward, thanks to his speed and technical feedback.

Stroll's move from Williams to Racing Point has been well chronicled, the young Canadian having the good fortune to have been handed a drive by his father who led the investment consortium that took over Force India last summer.

Stroll is still seen by many as a mere pay driver, but in his two challenging seasons with a beleaguered Williams team, the 21-year-old showed flashes of an underlying talent that only demand to blossom.

During pre-season testing, Perez had an opportunity to get a closer look at Stroll's skills, and the Mexican was impressed with what he saw.

"I've been surprised by his level, his speed," said Perez. "But the thing that surprised me the most, to be honest, is his feedback.

"You don't get to see that with the young drivers.

"These days they are very well prepared, but just due [the lack of] experience, you see all them giving feedback and you say 'ah, they're lacking a bit of knowledge in the car', but with him I've been quite surprised.

"I think he can guide the team quite nicely."

Perez smartly refuses to defer to those who have so far judged Stroll negatively because of his family connection and muted performances.

The Mexican driver rather believes his team mate was on the back foot from the outset with Williams when he graduated to F1 in 2017, especially last season when the British team's flawed FW41 car was massively off the pace.

"The thing is that people forget, if they see you last in Formula 1, they think you're really bad, but 95 percent is the car," he added.

"So it's very hard to judge somebody with a bad car."

Stroll gets a thumbs up from his team mate, he'll be the first man Perez will be determined to beat when the action kicks off this week in Melbourne.

"I am here to do my best job. I beat all the teammates I've been with. So I want to do the same with Lance," concludes Perez.

"It's my obligation to do this. If I were not to do this, believe me, I wouldn't be here.

"I am here for the motivation, I am here to deliver and if I don't have this approach, I better stay home."

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