Pérez: “The speed is there” to beat Verstappen and win the championship

Spread the love

Last weekend saw Sergio Pérez have one of his worst events in his long Formula One career. The Mexican driver crashed out in Q1 at Sainte Devote and started P20 on Sunday.

Unfortunately for Checo, the race did not go any better as touches with other cars and barriers saw him finish down in P16. He was lapped twice by race winner and teammate Max Verstappen.

Pérez says holding his hands up after a tough weekend is vital to take learnings into the future.

“It’s hard but for me the most important thing is to accept when you do a mistake as a driver, put your hand up, apologise to your team first of all and then learn from it and understand what happened and I’ve done that.”

The 33-year-old went on to explain what he learned from it. Heading into turn 1 before that error, the Red Bull driver had an Alpine in front of him that went down the pit entry to get out of the way.

But Pérez took too much speed into the corner and hit the barriers quite heavily.

“I’ve learned basically that I should have taken things a bit easier, everything was too late, it was a combination of things.

“We decided last minute to go for that lap and then we had the Alpine just in front of us. We had a lot of tailwind basically going on the braking, so in hindsight just being next time in Monaco in Q1 probably not taking those decisions last minute would help us as well.

“On top of all I should have done a better job at pre-empting the situation.”

The Monco Grand Prix was very costly for the 6-time F1 winner as Verstappen’s victory moved him 39 points clear of Pérez in the championship.

However, the start to 2023 has definitely been stronger for the Mexican versus the previous two campaigns. He’s already taken two strong victories in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan.

He believes the speed is in him and the RB19 to properly challenge the Dutchman the title in 2023, although he conceded Verstappen is the toughest teammate to try and beat at present.

“The speed is there. If this crash happened and I was half a second and second off then I would be more concerned, but the positive thing is that we have the speed to be able to turn things around.

“For now I’m mainly focused on weekend by weekend and I want to win this weekend and I want to get victories on my side.

“I’ve been a match to Max since the beginning of the season, in one way or another, sometimes better sometimes worse and it’s what I believe you have to be.”

“I think being team mates with Max is probably the toughest thing you can have because he’s the driver that is on the most form of all, but I do believe it’s possible to beat him.”

Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool