Perez: “I should be championship leader”

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez reckons he would be leading the Formula 1 drivers’ world championship after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix had he not had a nightmare Saturday at the Australian GP in early April.

Sergio Perez suffered a Saturday nightmare at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne for the third round of the season, as the Mexican driver struggled to stay on track during free practice in a car that was visibly difficult to drive, particularly in the braking zones.

Later in qualifying, the Red Bull driver found himself in the gravel trap again in the opening minutes of the session and was eliminated in Q1. This forced him to start the Australian Grand Prix from the pit lane on Sunday, despite the fact that prior to the start of the weekend in Melbourne, the Mexican was just one point behind teammate Max Verstappen in the championship.

In Sunday’s race, Sergio Perez managed to avoid on-track trouble and eventually crossed the Australian Grand Prix finish line in fifth place, scoring eleven points in total, while his teammate scored fourteen more with his victory.


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Baku proves the championship is on

Last weekend in Baku, Sergio Perez made up for it by winning the Sprint on Saturday (8 points) and the main race on Sunday (25 points), which allowed him to close the gap on his teammate in the world championship to six points.

Speaking just after his win in Baku on Sunday about his chances of becoming world champion this year with Red Bull, Sergio Perez believes he should be leading the championship without the problems he had in Australia.

“With three kids at home, I wouldn’t be racing around the world if I didn’t think I could be world champion,” Sergio Perez told Sky Sports.

“I’m working towards that, there’s a lot of things we can talk about outside the car, but the most important thing is to perform on the track.”

“I think with all the problems I had in qualifying in Melbourne, I should already be leading the championship. So there’s certainly everything to believe that I can do well this year.”

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Much respect for Verstappen

While a world championship battle inevitably creates tension when two drivers from the same team are fighting, Perez for his part believes that his similar mentality to Max Verstappen will allow him to fight with mutual respect this season.

“There is a very high level of respect between Max and myself, and the whole team. At the level we operate at, we push each other really hard, we obviously want to fight, but I want to win this championship as much as Max does,” added Sergio Perez.


“But there is still a lot of respect between us, and in a way we are similar in the way we approach or think about the sport.”

“I don’t think we’re going to change, we’re going to fight like we did today [in Baku] always as much and as hard as we can, but always with a very high level of respect between us and for the team.”

After the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Sergio Perez is second in the drivers’ world championship, six points behind teammate Max Verstappen.

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