It is a constant, even a " tendency " at Sergio Pérez since his arrival at Red Bull, in 2021. Over the last three seasons, the Mexican has not managed to keep up with his teammate Max Verstappen. Worse than that: if he had in his hands the best car on the field two years in a row, “Checo” often found himself struggling against the other teams, especially in 2023. However, it is not fault for trying: again this year, the No. 11 started the season very well by winning twice in the first four meetings, in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan.
However, as for three years, performances and results began to fall during the season, as races progressed and confidence was lost. In the second part of the championship in 2023, Sergio Pérez only took two podiums, while his teammate won nine of the ten Grands Prix after the summer break... The native of Guadalajara even found himself in the hot seat at Red Bull at the end of the season, before finally keeping his seat for 2024.
At the end of his contract at the end of the next financial year, Sergio Pérez knows that he must remedy this problem if he wants to maintain his place in Milton Keynes, and his reputation as well. “I want to be able to achieve regularity, to build momentum, declared the Mexican. I think what we missed this year is progression. We started the year very high, tied with Max, but we were not able to progress throughout the season. We have sometimes even regressed. So I think that will be my main priority: to be able to progress throughout the season, whatever my starting point. It is important that, weekend after weekend, we continue to evolve and improve. »
Sergio Pérez, the year of the last chance
In 2023, this regression arrived very early in the season, with a catastrophic sequence between Monaco (last on the grid after an accident in Q1) and Barcelona (eliminated in Q2). At the end of the season, if he managed to finish runner-up in the world – the minimum with one of the most dominant cars in the history of the F1 – Sergio Pérez scored half as many points as Max Verstappen.
“I had a few bad weekends, he admitted. We started the year very strong in the first five or six races, but then we couldn't progress with the car. This is something I missed this year and want to massively improve next year. The problems we had this year gave me a better understanding of what I was doing with the settings, how I was setting the car up, what direction I should go when I had problems. So this is something that will definitely make us stronger next year. »
Stronger in 2024, it will have to be since the second Red Bull seat is highly coveted internally – Daniel Ricciardo in the first place – but also by the twelve other drivers who will reach the end of their contract next year.