Perez aiming to “maximise every opportunity” in crucial season

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Sergio Perez says he is aiming to grow in performance throughout the 2024 season after he suffered a heavy mid-season slump in 2023.

The Red Bull driver only scored two of his team’s 21 grand prix victories during the 2023 season. His team mate Max Verstappen won the rest.

Both Perez’s wins came in the opening four rounds. After then he experienced a severe slump in form during which he regularly failed to reach Q3. Over the final eight grand prix he finished on the podium only once.

Speaking to media including RaceFans at the launch of the team’s new RB20 on Thursday, Perez said he will learn from what happened in 2023 and improve for this season.

“I feel fully fresh,” he said. “Obviously, with the learnings of last year, it’s very important that we learn what went wrong, learn from our mistakes. I think we understood a lot of things. It’s my fourth year with Red Bull and I will expect to be at my best for this year.”

Perez has an important year ahead of him as his contract at Red Bull is up for renewal at the end of the year. Having shown an improvement in form over the final rounds of last season, Perez says his goal for 2024 is to “maximise every single opportunity” he has.

“I want to get a really strong base early on and just be able to carry that through the whole season, to be able to develop through the season,” he said.

Perez said he made his late season breakthrough by “understanding the difficult races, why they were so difficult. The directions we were taking with the car, how we were overcompensating things and not necessarily making the car better. I think from all of that, we managed to learn a bit.”

Red Bull’s RB19 was the most dominant car in Formula 1 history, but the world champions unveiled a successor they described as “aggressive” in design for the new season. Perez said he is encouraged that Red Bull have not played it safe with their 2024 car.

“I think it just shows the hunger that there is in this team,” he said. “We had such a dominant car last year that you wouldn’t imagine us changing the concept as much. I think it’s really brave from Red Bull to do that.”

“With the changes we’ve done to the car, it’s all about improving and learning with the car, growing with the car,” he said. “It’s a long season – it doesn’t really matter where you start in Bahrain, it’s where you finish in Abu Dhabi. So it’s a massive season that it’s just important to have that progression. That will be my main focus for this year.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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14 comments on “Perez aiming to “maximise every opportunity” in crucial season”

  1. You’re a waste of a seat and starving us of any real competition

    1. I only hope Red Bull get destroyed this year so Perez actually has a shot at winning a race.

      1. winning a race with a destroyed redbull? how then? He couldn’t in a record breaking dominant one

  2. Keep seat warm for Sainz was what he meant to say

    1. It’s going to be Albon, apparently. Unofficial news, of course

    2. It won’t be Sainz

  3. *snore

    the same old talk but i bet he didn’t do anything to fix what went wrong last year and will be making the same mistakes again and again. Perez is a limited and unreliable driver. He have been driving top cars for the last 4 seasons and even in the pink team season that was already showing with him clearly being much more competitive than Stroll but failing to put everything together until the later stages of the season.

    1. This is true, that season ending in “force india” for perez was impressive, but the rest of the season wasn’t at the same level.

      1. And the previous seasons. Two years ahead of Ocon, three out of four years ahead of Hulkenberg. Only year at McLaren outqualified Button.

        Definitively not at VER, HAM or ALO level, but not the wasted driver you all talk about. He is inconsistent but remember that during most of the years of MERC dominance, PER was the only driver outside MERC, FER, and RB to pitch podium places. There must be something good out of him …

  4. Perez aiming to “maximise every opportunity” in crucial season

    Checo went on to say:

    “No matter how good the car is this year, I promise to never miss an opportunity to underperform, crash or generally just disappoint the hell out of everyone at Red Bull.”

  5. If Pérez just focuses on himself, he’ll be fine. He’s a solid driver. That he’s not as quick as Verstappen is no reason to be ashamed or mocked; there is maybe just one or two drivers in F1 today who could compete with Verstappen at his current level.

    The problem last season seemed to be that he was trying to win. He shouldn’t do that. He should try to finish 2nd, something for which he had the car at every race; yet he was off the podium more often than he was on it. A very bad result. Like in many sports, it’s possible to do worse when you’re trying harder. Pérez seems an obvious example of this phenomenon.

    1. 1 or 2?

      I’m thinking at least 5 or more!

      1. Sorry, misread your comment! I thought you were saying that there were 1 or 2 drivers at Checo’s level.

        In that case, I would argue that there are no other drivers at Verstappen’s level currently. He’s got an extra 1% over everyone.

        1. Definitely seemed like that last year. Verstappen and the RB19 were without a doubt a fantastic match. Sometimes there’s just a (near) perfect match between the car and the driver, but it rarely lasts multiple years. Even in 2022 when the Red Bull was just a tiny bit less dominant, Pérez was much closer quite a few times.

          Anyway, hopefully F1 won’t have to depend on Pérez to see some competition in 2024.

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