Signed to Red Bull through to the end of 2024, Sergio Perez hopes to continue racing in Formula 1 beyond his current deal.
Perez joined Red Bull last season, the Mexican driver handed a lifeline after it had looked as if his Formula 1 career might be over when Racing Point dropped him in favour of Sebastian Vettel.
Signed on a one-year contract, he became the first of Max Verstappen’s team-mates since Daniel Ricciardo to win a grand prix, P1 in Azerbaijan.
His performances earned him another one-year contract with Perez making it clear early this season he wanted more.
He was handed that in the build-up to the Monaco Grand Prix, signed on a two-year extension, and thanked the team with victory on the streets of Monte Carlo.
Perez needs to wake up at Red Bull
The form of Sergio Perez has gone slightly off the boil in recent weeks.
He is already angling for another multi-year contract.
“I still have a contract until 2024 but I can’t imagine I will end my career then,” he told Sport Bild.
“I’m too young for that and still having too much fun. Even if the sport takes up a lot of time. But that’s how it is. Formula 1 will be your life. And you can’t just leave that behind.”
But, he added, when the time does come to call it quits it “won’t be difficult for me in the end”.
Expanding on that, he said: “The best moments of my life have nothing to do with racing. For example, the birth of my children.
“But even the simple things mean a lot to me. If I can get a taco in Mexico for 20 pesos and spend time with my family, these are moments you don’t experience in Formula 1.”
Sergio Perez is no Max Verstappen but he’s a great No 2
Perez has shown during his time with Red Bull he is happy to help his team-mate, and can pick up the pieces when the Dutchman is out of the running.
Already twice this season he has adhered to team orders, in Spain and Azerbaijan.
In Spain, he baulked a little when told to move over and give the race lead to Verstappen, telling the team it was “very unfair” and that they would talk about it later.
He quickly toed the party line, the driver saying days later the team “has a wider picture” of what is happening in the grands prix and that in the end the 1-2, in Verstappen’s favour, was a “great team result”.
In Baku, he did not complain – not a pip.
But while seemingly okay with the number two role – although he would tell you he is not – Perez is also a race winner and climbed to the top step of the Monaco podium as he held off Carlos Sainz and Verstappen.
It was a good win for the driver as he was under immense pressure throughout the final stint, but held his nerve to close the gap to his team-mate in the Drivers’ standings to 15 points.
Since then, his challenge has faded as Verstappen has found his groove, with or without the help of Red Bull’s upgrades, and raced to an 80-point lead over Charles Leclerc.
But unlike last season when Verstappen’s P1s were followed by title rival Lewis Hamilton’s P2s, this year Perez is taking points off the Ferraris.
A good job for a number two, who may yet be around after 2024 if he continues like this.