‘I do’: Sergio Perez makes admission about being Max Verstappen’s team-mate

Sergio Perez believes that he is getting closer to fighting Max Verstappen for the championship.

The best way to judge a driver against another is to put them in equal machinery, and this is exactly what has happened with Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen.

The Mexican was impressive with Racing Point, even picking up a race win, however since joining Red Bull in 2021 he has been unable to mount a serious title challenge against his Dutch teammate, more often than not having to settle for the wingman role, helping Verstappen against his other rivals.

Perez believes that he is improving year on year and the team is helping him to become a better driver, stating that he knows what he has to do to reach Verstappen’s level.

“Well, I think the lesson from this year is that, you know, it’s been a great year as a team. I do need to step up a bit my race pace, mainly, where last year was more the qualifying, I think,” he explained.

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“With these cars, you are able to race a lot closer, so I think we need to step up that race pace. The understanding with the team, with the car, I think that has come better in the last few races.”

This year the 32-year-old has become the master of the street circuits, winning in Monaco and Singapore while coming close in Saudi Arabi, really coming into his own in these races.

In his first year with Red Bull, Perez found himself struggling at times, even failing to make Q3 on a few occasions however this year the Mexican has been much more consistent, challenging for a podium at least at most race weekends.

Perez believes that it is hard to beat Verstappen because the 25-year-old has been at the team for a longer period of time, meaning he is more settled and accustomed to the team, giving him a head start.

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“Well, it’s a great challenge to be his teammate,” he said.

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“Max is operating at a very high level from FP1 through the whole weekend so just had a little learning and trying to beat him and trying to do the stuff he is doing.

“So obviously not an easy task. I don’t believe there’s anyone that can come and just beat him straightaway. He’s very solid with the team.

“He’s been here a while so I think I’m just getting closer with the year, so I will give it another shot for next year and see what happens.”