Red Bull driver Sergio Perez says his target for the 2023 season is to be in contention for the victory at every race weekend.
Perez enters his third year with Red Bull in 2023 after two seasons in which his team mate, Max Verstappen claimed the drivers’ championship. He just missed out on second place in the championship last year, being beaten by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc at the final race in Abu Dhabi.
While Perez took two victories over the season, in Monaco and Singapore, but was soundly beaten by Verstappen who set a new record for most wins in a single season with 15. Perez says his goal for this season is to be in contention to win every race.
“I want to maximise the car potential that we get,” he told media including RaceFans. “I want to be fighting for the winning every weekend. I’m really working hard for it and that’s my main target.”
After being outpaced by Verstappen so often in 2022, Perez says he has worked hard with the team’s engineers at their Milton Keynes factory to analyse how he can close the gap this season.
“I have done a lot of work with the engineers over the winter to make sure we understood those races,” he explained. “We took some directions with the setup that perhaps were the wrong ones. I think towards the end of the year we understood them.”
Near the end of the season, Perez’s relationship with his team mate was strained by an incident in the Brazilian Grand Prix, when Verstappen refused to allow Perez through on the final lap under team orders. However, the pair both claimed that they had aired out their grievances before the following race in Abu Dhabi to clear the air and Perez says both he and Verstappen recognise their team’s interests must come first.
“It’s important to work as a team,” said Perez. “I think in that regard, it’s very clear. We want to maximise the team effort. It’s not all about Max and myself, it’s about the team.
“We have so many people back in the factory giving everything for us, so we have to respond in that regard. I’m working very hard on my side with my engineers to make sure that we are able to go on to the next step.”
Having been the dominant team of last season, Perez says it is too early to tell who Red Bull’s main rivals will be in 2023.
“It’s really hard to know at the moment. Certainly Mercedes have been very competitive towards the end of the season, similarly Ferrari – so I will expect them to to be up there. I know obviously there are some midfield teams that are making big steps over the winter, so we’ll see once we are in Bahrain.”
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