Resurgent Sergio Perez sets ambitious target for rest of F1 2023 season

Jamie Woodhouse
Sergio Perez arrives at the circuit. Canada June 2023.

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez arrives on press day in Montreal. Canada June 2023.

After delivering a solid recovery drive to P3 in Hungary, Sergio Perez now wants to be ever-present on the podium for the rest of F1 2023.

Although Perez finally ended his spell of absence from the final stage of qualifying, P9 on the grid in Hungary was still an underperformance as Red Bull team-mate and Championship leader Max Verstappen narrowly missed out on pole position to Lewis Hamilton.

But as Verstappen put the RB19’s dominant race pace to use once more, Perez was also able to cut back through the order, crossing the line P3 to join Verstappen and McLaren’s Lando Norris on the podium.

Sergio Perez targets podium at every remaining race

For Perez his title aspirations are now long gone, but the absolute minimum expected of him is to claim the runner-up spot to his team-mate in the Drivers’ standings and secure Red Bull’s first one-two finish.

And if he can be on the podium at each of the remaining 11 rounds as he aspires to be, then Perez will give his hopes of achieving that P2 spot a huge boost.

Asked after the race by 2016 World Champion Nico Rosberg whether this performance was the perfect confidence booster, Perez replied: “Yeah, definitely. I think this sort of performance, sort of days do help.

“From now on I look forward to, theoretically, be on the podium every single weekend, so let’s keep it up.” recommends

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For a time it looked as though P2 was on for Perez on a day where Verstappen gave Red Bull their record-breaking 12th win in succession, but the closing laps became more about keeping out of Hamilton’s clutches rather than applying pressure on Norris.

Perez said this was more due to encountering traffic rather than a loss of pace, but nonetheless, he hailed P3 as an “excellent result”.

“We got close to P2, unfortunately we got to a lot of backmarkers, so the track was unbelievably dirty off-line, so in the last laps I had some pick-up going through the backmarkers and that meant that I lost a few seconds,” he said.

“And then I recovered towards the end but it was just too late. But anyway, I think overall it was a great strategy by the team and we managed to have an excellent result.”

Perez did encounter one hair-raising battle on his way to the podium as he came across a hard-fighting Oscar Piastri in the McLaren.

The stewards did note that exchange for a time as Piastri clipped the grass at Turn 3 in defence against Perez, but decided that Perez has not forced Piastri off the track, the Red Bull racer agreeing that it was “hard racing” but fair.

Put to him that this battle looked to be really on the edge, Perez replied: “Yeah, he was, because we were on very similar age tyres. Basically we pitted at the same lap, so we were on fresh tyres so I went for it around the outside.

“We touched into Turn 1 and then into Turn 2 we touched again, so it was a little bit close, but hard racing I’d say.”

Perez was able with that P3 finish to extend his advantage over Fernando Alonso in the Drivers’ Championship, with a gap of 32 points now separating that duo.

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