Failing to reach the podium in the last eight races, Sergio Perez insists he has not given up on 2021 and that he will still “turn things around” this season.
Signing with Red Bull for this year’s championship, it was widely thought that Perez would be the first team-mate since Daniel Ricciardo to come close to matching Max Verstappen.
While he made a slow start as he adapted to his new office, his victory in Baku was heralded as a breakthrough especially as he followed that up with a podium at the very next race, France.
That, though, is where he champagne celebrations ended.
As his team-mate Verstappen claimed four race wins and a P2, Perez’s best result was his P4 at the Styrian Grand Prix.
Having scored 120 points to Verstappen’s 244.5, Perez is not in the mix for this year’s World title although beating Valtteri Bottas and Lando Norris to what would be a career-best P3 is still on the cards.
However, pundits are wondering if the Mexican driver’s focus is now firmly on 2022.
The gap between Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen after 15 rounds last season, with the Mexican in a Racing Point: 89 points
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) October 6, 2021
Asked by Autosport if he was looking to ‘get 2021 done’ with an eye on 2022 and its all-new cars, he replied: “No, not at all, there’s still a long way to go.
“I’ve been in this position before, and I will turn things around, I have no doubt.
“There’s still races to go and every weekend it can flip around so no, not at all. I’m looking forward for the rest of the year.
“We are in a big battle in the constructors and it can flip either way, any weekend.”
Red Bull are second in the Constructors’ Championship, 33 points behind Mercedes.
Perez reckons he can still play a role in helping Red Bull achieve the double and bring the Brackley squad’s reign to an end.
“I think the pace has improved quite a bit in the last few weekends,” he said.
“We just have to make sure we get the final bit together to be able to transform the results.
“We’ve done it before and I’m sure we can do this. I have full belief in the team. There’s still a long way to go.”
Sergio Perez looking to turn 2021 season around
Sergio Perez isn't focusing on 2022 and wants to turn 2021 season around.