Sergio Perez has revealed that he knew prior to the summer break that Red Bull were going to keep him for the 2022 campaign.
‘Checo’ was handed a one-year deal for the current season at the end of 2020 after being dropped by Racing Point with them replacing him with Sebastian Vettel.
While he won in Baku though, he has failed to consistently impress at his new team, struggling to match Max Verstappen and making a number of mistakes.
Given this and the fact that Pierre Gasly has been impressive at AlphaTauri, there were question marks over his future with the team, but that changed at the first round after the summer break with it being announced he’ll stay where he is for 2022.
It turns out that he knew that would be the case long before it was revealed to the public.
“I went into the summer break knowing what I was going to do,” the Mexican said as per Motorsport.com.
“But obviously everyone went on holiday, so it took us longer for it to be ready. I signed on Friday, once everyone was back, and yeah, we committed a long time ago.
“It was a couple of races already ago that Helmut [Marko] and Christian [Horner] told me that they’re very happy to keep me, and that I shouldn’t be looking anywhere else.
“They wanted to continue with me, and vice-versa, so it was just clear for both sides that we wanted to continue.”
Im very happy to announce that I'm continuing with @redbullracing for next year. Now our focus is on winning the championship for the team.
Muy feliz de anunciarles que continúo con el equipo para la próxima temporada, ahora el enfoque es en ganar el Campeonato para Red Bull. pic.twitter.com/uEdy0oGmAp
— Sergio Pérez (@SChecoPerez) August 27, 2021
Perhaps more so than ever, how drivers fare in their machinery this year is little indication of how they’ll do next season given the widespread regulation changes being introduced.
Perez sees the somewhat fresh start as a big opportunity for him and has already started to turn his attention to ensuring he’s prepared to take it.
“It is a massive opportunity, and next year, everyone starts from zero,” he added.
“There is no secret that I have been struggling with the car at times to get the maximum, so right now, I can think with the bigger picture in mind, getting some other things that can influence next year’s car.
“So definitely it is a big opportunity.”
While his team-mate is fighting for the title, Perez currently occupies P5 in the standings, with Lando Norris and Valtteri Bottas just ahead of him.