Sergio Perez laughed off rumours that he’ll retire from Formula 1 at the end of 2023, and even said his aim is to remain in the sport beyond the end of his current Red Bull contract.
Despite a tough 2023 season that didn’t get any easier last time out in Qatar, Perez seemed buoyant ahead of the United States Grand Prix, where he’ll attempt to hold second place in the championship from Lewis Hamilton.
Just a week away from his home race in Mexico City, Perez didn’t seem bothered by the outside noise regarding his F1 future, and gave a bullish press conference in Austin.
“I’m just laughing at it, I’m fully focused on my job, that’s all I can do,” Perez told the media. “That really sums up my season, a guy says something about me and then all of a sudden it becomes true.
“But no, I have a contract for next year and I have no reason to not do that contract, you know, I’m gonna give my best to it. I’ve done a commitment, but more than that it will not be my final contract in F1.”
Perez relishes challenge of Verstappen fight
Perez added he’s excited to restart his fight with Max Verstappen, having not finished as lead Red Bull since the 2023 Azerbaijan GP in April.
However, with Verstappen already crowned as world champion, Perez also has to look over his should with Hamilton just 30 points behind in the race for second.
Despite the rampant RB19, Perez hasn’t been able to pull away from the Brit and was criticised by influential team adviser Helmut Marko, but appears set to continue in Milton Keynes for 2024 with the backing of boss Christian Horner.
“I’m with Red Bull and I want to start with Red Bull, 100%,” Perez added. “It’s not ideal when you go through a difficult period of your career, but I just love the challenge of getting back at it
“I think the easy thing would be to just walk out of it but that’s not who I am. I will not give up, and I have zero doubts that I will be back to my best level. That is my only target, I’m not even thinking about retirement or anything like that.
“I’m just enjoying it at the moment, and at 33 I think I’ve got some good years ahead of me. As an athlete, you want to maximize your career, it’s important to me and that’s my focus.”