Sergio Perez has admitted that he “regressed” last season, having started 2023 so strongly.
The Mexican won two of the opening four races and was labelled as Max Verstappen’s only title rival; however, things quickly spiralled out of control for Perez starting at the Monaco Grand Prix.
A crash in Q1 at the Circuit de Monaco was the start of a long run of disappointing results, which saw his small title challenge become non-existent.
Perez did manage to hold on to second in the Drivers’ Championship, to complete a historic 1-2 for Red Bull.
He still dreams of becoming a Formula 1 World Champion and has recognised what he must do to achieve his career goal.
The 34-year-old wants to be able to “evolve and improve” every weekend, rather than be strong at some venues but then weak at others.
Perez basically just wants to “build momentum”, something which Verstappen does with ease.
The three-time World Champion has become a relentless winner, with him having a tendency to build in stature as the season develops.
This is effectively what Perez wants to start doing, although it should be noted that some of his poor performances were as a result of his own errors rather than struggles with the RB19.
“I want to be able to achieve regularity, to build momentum,” Perez told Auto Hebdo. “I think what we missed this year is progression. We started the year very high, tied with Max, but we were not able to progress throughout the season. We have sometimes even regressed.
“So, I think that will be my main priority – to be able to progress throughout the season, whatever my starting point. It is important that, weekend after weekend, we continue to evolve and improve.”
Whether Perez has the ability to match Verstappen consistently remains to be seen or whether he can deal with the pressure of being alongside him for an entire campaign.
Ahead of the 2024 season, there is already a huge amount of pressure on Checo, given that he is currently without a contract for 2025.
Should he want to be offered an extension by Red Bull, he must ensure that he doesn’t make as many mistakes as he did in 2023.