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F1: How can Sergio Perez secure his future at Red Bull?

Published at :February 19, 2024 at 6:15 PM
Modified at :February 19, 2024 at 6:16 PM
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(Courtesy : Red Bull)

Arpit Anand

Sergio Perez is on a difficult path as the 2024 Formula 1 season draws near, fighting to maintain his spot on the Red Bull squad while navigating the ups and downs of uncertainty. With his final year under contract providing perhaps his most difficult season to date, the 33-year-old Mexican understands all too well that his racing future is in the balance.One of the most glaring examples of Perez’s inconsistent career has been his 2023 season, which fell short of his colleague Max Verstappen’s incredible feats. Perez needs to step up to the plate and give performances that leave no room for question since his career at Red Bull is in jeopardy.

Improving Qualifying Performance

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has emphasized the importance of Perez’s qualifying form as his biggest area for improvement. Perez’s 2023 qualifying statistics were disappointing, with him being out-qualified 20-2 by Verstappen, claiming two poles, and only making it into Q3 on 13 occasions. 

He suffered six Q2 exits and three Q1 knockouts, failing to reach Q3 for five consecutive events at his lowest ebb, and not beating Verstappen for the rest of the season. With an average grid position of 9.27, Perez’s race pace is one of his strengths, but if he can improve his qualifying performances, it will make his life much easier. 

Perez’s race pace is one of his strengths, so if he can improve his qualifying performances, he will be making his life much easier.

Overcoming Race Day Obstacles

In 2023, Checo Perez’s race form was not too bad, but his average starting spot was ninth, far below where he should be starting. 

He often climbed the mountain at every race, but starting 10 places back from Dutchman Verstappen made it nearly impossible for him to compete. Perez’s run of five consecutive Q3 non-appearances was not the kind of Red Bull records he wanted to be setting, and with a grid that looks set to be more competitive this season, he must be stronger in qualifying. 

Although his race form was better than his qualifiers, it is not to say that his qualifiers were mistake-free. At Suzuka, he seemed on a one-man mission to pick up as many penalties as possible, and the embarrassing return from the pits to complete a penalty was a perfect example of when Perez can have the biggest of off days. 

No one is asking for a perfect season, but Perez needs to make his mistakes far rarer.

Keeping Up with Competitive Pressure and Team Dynamics

Sergio Perez wants to keep his job as a Red Bull F1 driver for the 2024 season, but he’s facing challenges from other good drivers, lots of media attention, and high hopes from fans. To stay on the team, Perez needs to perform really well during races.

Daniel Ricciardo is also hoping to get Perez’s spot, especially since he couldn’t race much last year due to a broken hand. Perez’s main goal is to do better than Yuki Tsunoda, another driver, but he has to start the season strong to avoid more pressure.

Staying on the Red Bull team is tricky for Perez because he has to deal with the team’s inside politics and how they work together. Despite these challenges, Perez can improve his position on the team and show that he’s really important to Red Bull by working hard and being talented.

Usually, F1 drivers try to beat their teammates, but Perez has realized that his teammate, Max Verstappen, is much better than him. Verstappen won a lot more races and got many more points than Perez last year. Perez’s big goal for 2024 is to try and be better than Verstappen and win his first F1 world title.

To have a better chance of keeping his spot at Red Bull, Perez might do better if he focuses on racing alongside Verstappen, stops making mistakes, and accepts that the team is more centered around Verstappen.

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