Perez joined Red Bull for the 2021 season to replace Alex Albon, but like Albon and Pierre Gasly before him, the Mexican has struggled to get close to team-mate Max Verstappen and master Red Bull’s machines.
With new ground effect regulations emerging for 2022, Perez got off to a good start against Verstappen in the initially overweight RB18. His early form earned him a pole in Saudi Arabia and a prestigious victory at the Monaco Grand Prix, which took place last weekend. The 33-year-old has signed a new two-year Red Bull contract until the end of 2024.
But as Red Bull managed to shed the extra pounds, it allowed Verstappen to balance the car more to his liking and get more lap times with his preferred oversteer setup. On the other hand, as the development of the car progressed, Perez admitted that he became less comfortable with the car than he was at the start of the season.
Although he rallied towards the end of 2022, he missed out on Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in the battle for second place in the Drivers’ Championship.
When asked at Red Bull’s launch in 2023 if Perez had been able to work through his issues with the team to avoid a similar dip in form with the RB19, Perez replied: “Yes, definitely. There are things we are going to work on.
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“We think the car is already going to be better. I pushed the team in a certain direction, and we think we are going in that direction.”
“But we will see. Once we have the car, it will be about adapting to the car and trying to maximize it.”
Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Perez took responsibility for some of his struggles in 2022 and said by the end of the year his side of the garage understood where he made mistakes in the car’s setup.
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“Learning from the mistakes we made, I think sometimes we took the wrong direction with the setup and that’s very important for us to understand,” he explained.
“I think we understood towards the end of the season what we were doing with the car, so that was crucial for us.
“And I think we’re going in the right direction with that.”