Perez: Monza “a very good step forward in the right direction” in recovering best F1 form

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The 2023 Formula 1 season has been completely dominated by Red Bull drivers, specifically two-time world champion Max Verstappen.

At the beginning of the year, both drivers in the Austrian team were at the same level in terms of results, with the Dutchman winning rounds 1 and 3 and his teammate, Sergio Perez, winning rounds 2 and 4.

Subsequently, the Mexican had quite a negative streak, which Verstappen took advantage of to take off in the drivers’ championship. Despite this, Checo plans to finish this season on a high, perhaps closing the gap with his teammate and separating himself from the drivers behind him.

“I tried my best. The first five races went really well. Things didn’t go that well anymore,” the Mexican driver stated regarding his bad result streak some races ago that began in Monaco.

“We will keep trying to do better.”

This weekend the Singapore Grand Prix will take place at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. Let us remember that some modifications have been made to the layout of this circuit, in addition to the fact that it is combined with the fantastic ability that the Mexican has to achieve victories on street circuits.

Five of the six victories that Perez has secured have been on street circuits, including Singapore last year.

The 33-year-old wants to confirm the gains made at Monza this weekend. Perez drove a strong race in Italy to finish P2 last time out.

“I think it’s more important the progress we’ve made. In Monza, we didn’t really get to show the full picture of our pace, but I think we definitely improved a lot. Similarly in Zandvoort, but mainly in Monza, I think we made a very good step forward in the right direction. So hopefully we are able to show our true pace and how much we have improved.”

Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool.

We have seen that probably the weakest area that the Mexican has is in qualifying. Checo had a streak of 5 consecutive times in which he failed to get into Q3, making Sunday’s task even more difficult, since now he had to make up numerous positions to even reach the podium.

When asked if he has done anything to eradicate this weakness, Checo commented:

“Yes, definitely I have done that. For me, the main weakness was coming form the setup because I wasn’t feeling comfortable with the balance of the car. That to me was the main objective and the main target.”

It is known that in order to be in tune with the car and for a driver to get the most out of it, he or she must be able to drive it in a natural way and without thinking much. This has been confirmed by different world champions that the category has had, however, when one has a bad streak of results, this ability may be lost.

This is what Checo comments on whether he drives naturally or still does not find this confidence in the RB19.

“Not so naturally this way, but we have made a lot of progress to make me drive more naturally, so I am definitely feeling that I am going back to where I started in terms of how I was driving the car.”

Likewise, there have been many comments in which fans speculate that the RB19 is built for Max Verstappen, since the Dutchman is the one who seems to be 100% comfortable with the car, while on the other side of the garage, it is not like this. This is what Perez commented:

“No! I wouldn’t say that the car is designed around Max.

“It’s just that sometimes like you see with other teams that when upgrades are brought. You will see that it suits one driver more than the other.

“It’s not that they are making that upgrade specifically to one driver. They are just trying to make the fastest car possible.”

Finally, the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix will be the 250th race for the Mexican driver, so it will be a very special race for Perez.

“Well, it is very special to look back at my early years. It’s a lot of years in F1, the pinnacle of our sport. It has a good meaning in other ways. It will be very nice to remember my 250th race and I will only remember if I win on Sunday.”