Sergio Perez aims high: Targets F1 2024 battle with Verstappen

The Red Bull driver looks to bounce back this year after a tumultuous 2023 season that saw him vastly outperformed by teammate Verstappen

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Sergio Perez heads to the Bahrain Grand Prix, the first race weekend of the 2024 Formula 1 season, fully determined to involve himself in the championship fight with Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen.

Coming off the back of a turbulent 2023 season that often saw Perez fall prey to his own on-track errors, the Mexican will look to be on top form this year, with his contract at Red Bull up for renewal at the end of the season.

Perez looks to start fresh this year, as he heads into the new season with a positive mindset.

“We always start [a new season] from zero,” Perez told the press in Bahrain. “It’s a long championship and anything can happen from now on.

“I think it’s important just to be able to maximise weekend by weekend, keep chipping away and keep making sure that we take the most of our opportunities every single weekend.”

“If we are able to pull the lever weekend after weekend, if we are able to progress like we did last year, I think we should be in with a very good chance of having a tremendous year.”

Getting more out of the 2024 challenger

Perez appears more comfortable with Red Bull’s 2024 challenger than last year’s car. Sharing his thoughts on the season ahead, Perez stated that he feels he will be able to get more out of the RB20 than last year’s dominant RB19. 

“I think it will be a good car,” Perez continued. “I think it will be a nice car to drive as well. I think things are looking really good.”

There were moments throughout the 2023 season in which Perez looked less than comfortable in the car, particularly in comparison to Red Bull teammate Verstappen

Sergio Perez puts on his helmet during 2024 pre-season testing in Bahrain | Mark Thompson / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Sergio Perez puts on his helmet during 2024 pre-season testing in Bahrain | Mark Thompson / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Although Perez ultimately clinched second in the Drivers’ Championship, the performance gap between him and Verstappen was vast, with Perez finishing the year 290 points behind his teammate. 

Perez said that improvements have been made to this year’s car, leaving the 34-year-old feeling as if he is in a comfortable position heading into the new F1 season. 

“I think we grew up a lot last year. We understood a lot of our deficits that we had towards the end of last year,” said Perez.

“At the same time, I think a lot of things have been improved compared to last year, so it should be a lot more positive in that regard.”

Red Bull start the new year in a strong position as it looks to replicate the success of 2023 given their performance during pre-season testing. The team topped the timesheets on Day 1 and appearred competitive across all three days, suggesting that Red Bull will once again be the team to beat in F1 2024.

Jasmine Hughes
Jasmine Hughes
Experienced in digital content creation, Jasmine Hughes has written for a number of online publications, joining Total Motorsports in 2024. She previously served as FormulaNerds' Formula E Editor, leading coverage of the 2023 Formula E season. Jasmine has been watching Formula 1 since the age of 4, after falling in love with Fernando Alonso's blue-yellow Renault R25.
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