Sergio Perez identifies best way to stop Red Bull axing him at the end of his contract | F1 | Sport

Sergio Perez has explained that progressing his performances in line with car development will be critical to piecing together a strong 2024 season. The 33-year-old is entering the final year of his Red Bull contract and with Daniel Ricciardo waiting in the wings to replace him, the pressure to perform has never been higher.

Perez enjoyed an immense start to his 2023 campaign, announcing his arrival to the title fight early on with victories in Jeddah and Baku, but after claiming pole position in Miami, team-mate Max Verstappen won each of the next ten Grands Prix to put his third consecutive Drivers’ Championship title beyond doubt.

A dismal start to life after the summer break sparked a debate about whether or not Perez would even be a Red Bull driver in 2024, but Christian Horner stuck by the Mexican, who duly recovered his form during the final three races of the year. However, with his deal up in 12 months’ time, Checo must now demonstrate his long-term value to the team. 

“I want to be able to hit consistency, to build a platform,” Perez told “What we lacked this year is progress. I started the year really highly, on par with Max. But I was just not able to evolve through the season. If anything, I went backwards at times. So, that’s probably my main priority, to be able to progress through the season.”

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The Red Bull driver also touched on the reasons behind his qualifying struggles, which began in Barcelona at the start of the summer. “I felt like the car was different and I had to think a lot more on how I was driving than ever before,” he explained.

“So, that was a bit of a turnaround of the year. We started the year really strongly [in] the first five, six races, but then we couldn’t progress together with the car. And I think that’s something I lacked this year that I want to improve massively into next year.

“These problems really make me understand a lot more how I was setting up the car, [and] which direction I need to go when I get issues. So I think it’s something definitely that’s going to make us stronger coming next year.”

Perez was clear in stating that a steady progression through the season was his main aim for 2024, adding: “Other than that we’re just going to focus massively on making sure we are able to progress with it through the season. I think that’s the main thing.”

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