The Mexican has had an eventful first season with Red Bull in 2021 as a teammate to world championship challenger Max Verstappen.
Although his highlight was winning the Azerbaijani Grand Prix, he also endured his fair share of frustrations as he struggled to adapt to the unique driving characteristics of the RB16B.
Although he has been retained by Red Bull for 2022, it is clear that Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri is doing everything possible to have the opportunity to return to the main squad at some point in the future.
For Perez, while the situation means he will have to do his best next year to save Gasly any chance of a second chance, it is clear that he never let contract issues affect the work. that he is doing on the right track.
“It doesn’t make any difference to me,” he told TBEN of a one-year contract.
“Even though we have longer contracts, we are still racing drivers and want to deliver weekend after weekend.
“To be honest that’s not something I think about at all. The only thing I think about is the next race weekend. It’s the same the other way around.
“I don’t think, ‘oh, I got a contract for next year now so I can be more relaxed.’ No, not at all.
“If I thought this way, I would never be here anyway.”
Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B
Photo By: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
Confirmation of Perez’s new contract came weeks after he was privately informed by team managers Helmut Marko and Christian Horner that he would be selected.
He says that while there have been tough times in 2021, the trust he has built with senior management has been good.
“A few races before that [contract announcement] Helmut and Christian spoke to me, “he said.
“They said I shouldn’t look elsewhere because they are happy with me and want to continue.
“For me it was really the same, so it was pretty clear. We developed a good confidence during that short period, which is important.
“If Christian and Helmut tell me something, I fully believe them and therefore I didn’t worry about anything else.”
With eight races still to go and Perez due to play an important supporting role at Verstappen, he knows the biggest gain he needs to make is his lap pace.
He’s shown several times this year that he can be as strong as Verstappen on race day, but it’s the poor grid positions that put him down in the race for results.
“I have to take a good step in the qualifying sessions,” he explained. “The race pace is there, but we have to take a good step forward in qualifying.
“The positive side is that if there is a delta compared to Max in qualifying, he tends to disappear in the race.
“We get a lot closer then, but I just have to close the gap on Saturday too, so I can be there from the start.”