Sergio Perez draws Max Verstappen into plan to become F1 2024 World Champion

Oliver Harden
Sergio Perez standing in front of Max Verstappen.

Sergio Perez started strongly but fell away as the 2023 season went on.

Sergio Perez is keen to “learn” from Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen’s approach in an attempt to be crowned F1 World Champion in 2024.

Perez enjoyed his best-ever start to an F1 season in 2023, winning two of the opening four races in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan.

However, the Mexican’s challenge faded after a spectacular mid-year implosion in which he failed to reach Q3 for five races in succession as Verstappen embarked upon a season-defining run of 10 straight wins.

Sergio Perez reveals Max Verstappen plan

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

Verstappen eventually eased to a third consecutive title, scoring more than double the 285 points amassed by Perez.

Despite the crushing nature of his defeat in 2023, Perez – who only saw off Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton in the battle for second in the penultimate race in Las Vegas – is convinced he can take another step to be crowned World Champion in 2024.

He told media including PlanetF1.com: “That’s the main target for me. I’ve already finished second, my main interest is to do one better.

“I’m aware of the challenge that is. We’ve got to really take this winter time to try to start the season on a high and be able to maintain that level of consistency throughout the season.”

Perez complained during the season that the development of the RB19 gradually moved away from him, leaving him unable to extract the most from the car on a consistent basis.

The 33-year-old is prepared to study Verstappen’s approach over the winter in the hope of enjoying a stronger season next year, acknowledging his team-mate is a perfect yardstick having won a record 19 races in 2023.

He explained: “Our relationship is really good. I think the whole engineering [process], when we are in all those briefings through so many races, I think it’s been good. We’ve been pushing at times in different directions, but at the same time we’ve been strongly asking for the same stuff, so that also has been positive for the team.

“Definitely there are things that you learn from him. I think I have the best reference out there because he was the one who was so competitive.

“So I think there’s no harm in looking at what he’s doing, how he’s doing it and trying to learn and improve, see what works for you that he’s doing differently to you.

“I think I’ve always had a very open approach and I think it’s something that works well.”

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Next season could prove to be Perez’s last in F1, with his current Red Bull contract due to expire at the end of 2024.

McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, Williams star Alex Albon and AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo are regarded as the leading contenders to replace Perez if Red Bull decide to look elsewhere for 2025, having originally signed Perez ahead of Verstappen’s maiden title-winning season in 2021.

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