With Red Bull’s strong start to the 2023 Formula 1 season, many wonder whether Sergio Perez can finally claim his first world championship title.
After victories in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan, Perez is just six points behind reigning double champion and teammate Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings.
As the season progresses, the battle between the two Red Bull drivers is expected to heat up.
Perez’s confidence and relationship with Verstappen
Perez believes he can fight Verstappen for the world championship this year, stating that he is “certain” of it.
He feels comfortable with the car, which he believes can stay competitive throughout the season. The Mexican driver also spoke about his relationship with Verstappen, saying that they have a lot more respect for each other than people might think.
Despite their rivalry on the track, they maintain a great atmosphere within the team and a high level of respect for each other’s engineers.
Former F1 driver’s advice: drop the “Mr. Nice Guy” act
As Perez aims to secure the championship, former F1 driver Anthony Davidson suggests that he needs to stop being “Mr. Nice Guy” and get under Verstappen’s skin, similar to how Nico Rosberg annoyed and challenged Lewis Hamilton during their 2016 title battle.
Davidson believes that Perez must make personal sacrifices and adopt a more aggressive approach to increase his chances of winning the championship.
Bottas’s empathy and insight on battling for the title
Valtteri Bottas, who faced a similar situation during his time at Mercedes, feels empathy for Perez as he competes against Verstappen.
Bottas admitted that it took him five years to accept that Lewis Hamilton was faster, and he understands the challenges Perez faces in trying to beat his teammate.
The Finn believes that Perez has had a decent season so far, but beating Verstappen will not be easy.
No mind games for Perez
Perez has stated that he is not interested in playing psychological warfare with Verstappen, focusing instead on personal improvement and working with his engineers. He appreciates Red Bull for not implementing team orders and allowing both drivers to race flat out. Perez is confident that as long as there is respect between him and Verstappen, they can maintain a healthy rivalry while competing for the championship.