With Red Bull’s dominance of the 2023 F1 season so far, Sergio Perez is under no illusions that he will have to go wheel-to-wheel with teammate Max Verstappen in order to win the drivers’ championship.
Red Bull have finished one-two in the opening two races of the 2023 F1 season – in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia – with no other team close to reaching the performance of the RB19. Verstappen leads Perez by one point in the driver standings.
“When I came to the team, things were very different,” Perez told the press ahead of the 2023 Australian GP. “And basically, they were just going racing with two cars, because they had to.
“I can say now that I really feel part of the team, I really feel like I have my place well respected. And I think that’s, that’s something good to have as a driver.
“I really believe that they have full support of the team as much as Max does and, that I will have every single opportunity to win the championship as much Max.
“If I want to win the championship, I have to beat Max.”
Perez F1 title chance
In terms of the fight for the world championship, Perez is clear that he has his best chance of winning the F1 title in 2023.
“We got a very strong car, very strong package,” Perez continued. “A car that I feel comfortable with, a car and I’m working well with a car that I also believe that the direction we take the development I can get the most out of it.
“And I think that’s important to be able to stay in the fight throughout the season, to have a car that you can be competitive, whatever condition you are in.”
During the 2023 Saudi Arabian GP, Verstappen took fastest lap, and the bonus point that goes with it, on the final lap of the race when it seemed Perez had been told by the Red Bull team that fastest lap was his.
“When when you are in the fight for the championship, you got to take your A game to every single race, and you have to try everything you possibly can,” Perez said.
“But at the same time, I think it will be very important that we will respect whatever has been told by the team.
“We are only on race commentary. So there’s a long way to go.”