Sergio Perez has sworn to fight Max Verstappen down to the last lap if a win at the 2022 Mexican Grand Prix is at stake, despite his teammate hunting a record.
Perez enters his home race having already won multiple races in a season for the first time in his career, and with both championships wrapped up for Max Verstappen and Red Bull he’ll hope for no team orders if their pair are both in contention to win.
It’ll be his seventh home race but only the second where he’s been a genuine contender for the race, after he bagged a podium last season.
“Of course I want to win this weekend, this is my target,” Perez told the press ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix.
“It’s the target for everyone sitting here who’s coming this weekend, also for Max, so yeah we’re all very competitive and we all want to get the victory so we’re going to give it all we possibly can to achieve that.”
Perez finished third last year behind Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, having previously raced the Mexican Grand Prix for Force India and Racing Point.
His previous best result was seventh in 2019, and though Mexican fans have always backed their man, a race win would bring a new fever to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez.
“I’ve dreamed a few times already and it will be massive for me,” Perez added.
“Obviously that’s the target for Sunday, we’ll need to be perfect throughout the weekend so yeah the focus now will be on the race itself so I have to try and maximise the weekend.
“At the end of the day it’s the same weekend with the same amount of points but it’s the most special one for me.”
No early Christmas presents
Aside from the home win, Perez also has the added incentive of second place in the championship within his reach.
Despite Ferrari‘s scorching start to the season, Perez is two points ahead of their team leader with three races to go, though Charles Leclerc is on a five-race streak of podium finishes.
Given Verstappen has already secured his second Drivers’ Championship – with the help of Perez – some have questioned whether he could gift his teammate a dream home race win.
However, if Verstappen takes victory in Mexico he’ll break Sebastian Vettel‘s record of 13 race wins in a single season.
“I’m winning,” Verstappen said earlier when asked if he’d let Perez past for a home win if they were running 1-2.
“[In this case] He is anyway outscoring Charles, so that’s all he needs. Let’s see.
“Anyway, first we have to be that competitive. We don’t know yet.”
“Well, he knows what he has to do to finish a second, he has to finish ahead of Charles.
“As a team, we always try to be first and second and as a driver, I want to win more races.
“I still want to win the races, so I’m here to do the best I can. It’s a bit more relaxing, but I know that once I sit in the car I always want the best.”