Sergio Perez has maintained that he still has faith in his Red Bull team to make the right calls after he was told not to fight team-mate Max Verstappen in recent races.
The Mexican was asked to move over for the quicker Dutchman to take the win at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, before Red Bull told him “no fighting” as the reigning champion took second place in Baku.
The latter would eventually become the lead when Charles Leclerc suffered a reliability failure, and Verstappen won the race by over 20 seconds as he asserted dominance in Azerbaijan.
The 32-year-old insist that there is plenty of clarity between himself and Red Bull, so he is happy to do what is necessary to help them.
“I had a good chat with the team,” said Perez, adding that he has “100 percent” trust in them to make the right call.
“If they tell me to do it, I would do what they asked me to do, I don’t see why that wouldn’t make sense.”
Perez has out-qualified Verstappen three times this season, and beat him to victory in Monaco a few weeks back. He now sits second in the championship, 21 points behind the 24-year-old.
Verstappen has generally held a pace advantage over Perez since the start of last year, but that does not stop the Mexican wanting to beat him for the title, and he believes he has the capacity to do so.
“It’s a big challenge for me to have him as a team-mate,” explained Perez.
“If I was here thinking I want to finish second, I should stay home instead. I’m here because I want to win and I think I can do it.
“I think I drive at an extremely high level, maintaining this level every week and all season is what will open the door to fight for the championship.
“To be in the race, to think about the championship and that every point counts, is a big challenge and a huge opportunity for my career.”
Perez had entered 193 races with a combination of Sauber, McLaren, Force India and Racing Point before his first victory in Sakhir in 2020, scoring nine podiums since 2012.
The win in Bahrain with Racing Point helped him seal a move to Red Bull last season but, even had it not, the Mexican would have been grateful for all he had achieved, having all but given up on a move to a top team at any point in his career.
“We always tell ourselves that we have to make the most of the opportunities given to us. That’s what I did,” added Perez.
“But even if these years with Red Bull had not come, I still would have been very proud of what I achieved in the sport because I gave my all with what I had.”
Perez did not enjoy the best day during qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend, crashing in the second phase and ending up P13 as Verstappen stormed to pole position.