Sergio Perez relishing ‘great opportunity’ at Brazilian GP despite Red Bull pressure

Sergio Perez's Mexico City GP lasted less than 15 seconds

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After a disastrous outing at his home race one week ago, Red Bull‘s Mexican driver Sergio Perez feels ready to bounce back to form in Sunday’s 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Perez, who hopes to secure his first podium since September’s Italian GP, comes to Interlagos hoping to increase his 20-point lead over Lewis Hamilton in their fight for second in the drivers’ championship.

The 33-year-old has the full backing of team principal Christian Horner despite rumours continuing to swirl he may be dumped from Red Bull at season’s end.

”Having obviously the team support is always very important,” explained Perez to the press. “Because at the end of the day, we are all in this together. And having all their support always helps. 

“Also back home from people back home as well. I think it’s a great opportunity for me to show how strong I am mentally and how, as an athlete, you always have these sorts of moments.

“But the most important thing is how you overcome them and how you recover from them.”

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez squeeze Charles Leclerc at the start of the 2023 Mexico City GP | Mark Thompson/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Relieved to forget home race from hell

In front of a partisan home crowd, Perez endured a weekend to forget after only qualifying fifth for Sunday’s race and was out-qualified by his chief challenger for his Red Bull seat, AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo.

In Sunday’s race, Perez got a good start and was right alongside polesitter Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen into Turn 1 before making contact with the Monegasque, launching him into the air.

Despite frantic work by his Red Bull mechanics to get him back into the race, albeit a lap down, the damage was too severe to continue, causing Perez to break down in tears inside the cockpit. 

“Yeah, it was super painful. It was just a very sad day, it hurt a lot, especially when you think about what could have happened if there was no contact and so on,” added Perez

“But I realised that I gave it [my] all. I was fighting for the lead, and I took a gamble, and it didn’t pay off. But I had to make sure I held my head high because I gave it all through the weekend. 

“And the fans were amazing, also after the event with so much support, and also the team was super supportive. So yeah, it helps that we are back here in Sao Paulo.”

Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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