F1: Sergio Perez accepts Red Bull future is in his own hands | Inquirer Sports

F1: Sergio Perez accepts Red Bull future is in his own hands

/ 02:31 PM July 21, 2023

Red Bull Formula One Sergio Perez

Red Bull Racing’s Mexican driver Sergio Perez arrives for the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England on July 9, 2023. (Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC / AFP)

Under-pressure Red Bull driver Sergio Perez admitted on Thursday that his future is in his own hands following Alpha Tauri’s abrupt sacking of Dutch rookie Nyck de Vries.

Despite lying second in the drivers’ championship after 10 races, although 99 points adrift of runaway defending champion and team-mate Max Verstappen, Perez conceded that his position with Red Bull was not entirely secure.

“You’ve seen it with other drivers and other teams,” he said, referring to the pressure he felt.

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“They’ve had difficult periods, but then they don’t have 20 replacements after a session like they do with the Red Bull drivers.”

After an extended run of five poor qualifying performances, in which he has failed to reach the top 10 qualifying shoot-out, the Mexican told reporters ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix that he would bounce back to form.

“It’s in my hands, that’s why I am focused on myself – I am the first one. I am a winner. I don’t like to have bad weekends. It’s not what I am here for.

“I would rather be at home doing something else. I’m here because I know that I can do it. I’ve done it before and people just on the sofa forget how we have (little breathing space).”

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Red Bull's Sergio Perez Formula One Canadian grand Prix

Formula One F1 – Canadian Grand Prix – Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, Canada – June 17, 2023 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez ahead of the final practice session REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger

He added that he had been working intensively with his engineers since the British Grand Prix, after which Red Bull reserve and former race driver Daniel Ricciardo was handed De Vries’ seat at Alpha Tauri, the junior team in the Red Bull stable.

“We have some ideas for here,” he said, referring to the tight, twisty and technical Hungaroring circuit.

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“Nothing has an instant impact in F1, as we know. At the same time, we just have to look back at my season and if I’m second in the world championship, it’s for a reason.

“I’ve had a rough patch, it’s true, but I also had a great start to the season. So you’re just balancing out, looking at those races, what works, and looking at those bad races what didn’t and just make sure that we make progress weekend after weekend.

“I’m confident. I’ve done my work, I’ve done my preparation and I’m ready to deliver a strong weekend. That’s all I can do.”

Perez won two of the opening four races, but his form has fallen away since, notably in qualifying. He has not qualified in the top ten since the Miami Grand Prix on May 7.

He has a contract until the end of 2024, but knows, on the evidence of De Vries’ departure, that the Red Bull stable can act ruthlessly.

“When you look at those five qualifyings, there’s been a different situation always that we haven’t dealt with as good as we should have.

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“But there have been some external factors and it hasn’t been pure pace. Let’s put it that way.”

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TAGS: Formula One, Red Bull Racing, Sergio Perez

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