Sergio Perez throws in the towel

Sergio Perez sits 99 points behind Max Verstappen ahead of this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix.

Sergio Perez has accepted that he’s not going to beat team-mate Max Verstappen to the Drivers’ Championship this season, with the Mexican now targeting “to be runner-up”.

Perez’s acceptance of defeat to Verstappen comes amid a woeful streak for the driver, which has now lasted five races.

The Mexican has claimed one podium in the last five races, whilst he’s failed to progress to Q3 at each of them.

His form has spiralled downwards at a rate of knots, especially after he started the season so well.

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He finds himself 99 points behind Verstappen ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, with the Dutchman effectively not needing to win another race this season to be World Champion again.

“If Perez is always first with the fastest lap and Verstappen is always second, Perez would end up just a single point ahead of his teammate with 500 points versus 499 for Verstappen,” Bild newspaper correspondent Silja Rulle reported.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has admitted that Perez has been “weak lately” in qualifying, with that having hampered his chances of claiming a third win of the season.

Horner is certain that the 33-year-old will rediscover his speed though, with the team making sure it “happens as soon as possible”.

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“Checo started the season very well, but has been weak lately on Saturdays,” Horner admitted, as reported by

“He’s a guy who needs an arm around his shoulder. We know he’s coming back, we just want to make sure that happens as soon as possible.”

Ahead of this weekend at the Hungaroring, Perez has been in Madrid, where he completed a show run for Red Bull.

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Whilst in the Spanish capital, the Mexican admitted that his “goal” is to finish second this season, not first anymore.

“I’m not second in the world championship by a miracle. I’ve won two races and had some bad ones, but I’m still there,” Perez told local media in Madrid.

“For now I’m happy, I’m excited about the future, but my focus is on racing. My goal is to be runner-up in the championship this season.”