Sergio Perez says he needs to be able to beat teammate Max Verstappen consistently over the course of the 2023 Formula 1 season if he’s to become world champion.
Perez currently sits second in the drivers’ championship after three rounds, and is currently 15 points behind Verstappen following his fifth place in the Australian Grand Prix, where he started at the back of the grid.
However, given how uncompetitive the other nine teams are compared to Red Bull, Perez is already looking like the driver best equipped to fight Verstappen for the world championship and the Mexican was asked whether he’s gunning for the crown.
“If I want to win the championship,” Perez told Motorsport Week. “I think that’s important to stay in the fight throughout the season. To have a car in which you can be competitive in whatever situation you are in.
“I have to beat Max weekend-in, weekend-out. To keep this level of consistency throughout the season.”
Perez was one lap away from taking the lead of the championship after the second round of the season but Verstappen snatched the fastest lap point in the Saudi Arabian GP and his win in Melbourne has put a bit of breathing room between the pair.
Perez’s best career championship finish was his third place in 2022, though he entered the last race of the season battling Charles Leclerc for second and could have been even closer if Verstappen had helped him in the Brazilian GP, when the Dutchman already had his drivers’ title wrapped up.
Perez isn’t targeting a number of wins
Perez also says he isn’t targeting a win total, but is taking every race as it comes.
“It’s hard to say, it’s all about consistency,” Perez added. “You can win 15 races but if in the other races you just crash and have DNFs and so on, it’s not enough. I think it’s just reaching that level of consistency and taking it race by race.
“There’s no doubt there’s no driver on such a form as there is Max. So together with the team and the car as well, he’s the hardest driver to beat.
“It will require the maximum out of me and to bring my A-game every weekend.”