Sergio Perez has said he and Max Verstappen will ensure the team’s interests will take priority over their individual aims this season.
Verstappen took the World Championship in comfortable fashion last year, winning 15 races from 22 starts as he and Red Bull wrapped up title glory with multiple races to spare.
Perez was a whisker away from making it a Red Bull one-two in the Drivers’ Championship, but the pair faced tension in Brazil last year when Verstappen refused to give sixth place back to his team-mate at the finish, after Perez had earlier moved aside for the Dutchman.
While both drivers and team principal Christian Horner see it as water under the bridge moving into the new season, the Mexican is hoping to head into the new year with the aim of challenging his team-mate at the front of the field.
“Yeah, certainly,” Perez responded to a question from PlanetF1.com when asked if he is changing his approach to put himself in the hunt in 2023.
“I’m really working with the team, trying to maximise the full potential of our car. That’s the main thing and that’s the main one for us really, to be able to deliver the results we want for this season.”
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Perez took victory in Monaco and Singapore last year as Red Bull took a dominant Constructors’ crown ahead of Ferrari, but he naturally has his eyes set on winning the World Championship himself, given the opportunity to do so.
With the speed of the RB19 relative to the rest of the field still an unknown until pre-season testing, he hopes to see the team pick up where they left off in terms of pace – though he knows the quality of the other teams will make the field tough to beat in 2023.
“I think we obviously have to work together as a team and at the same time, we both want to win the championship,” Perez said.
“So it’s just having good compromise, putting always the team before us, and I think the competition will be really strong out there, so we really need everything we possibly can from each other.
“The strategy is clear – it’s to maximise the potential of the car, and we believe we have a good car, but how good? We don’t know what the competition are doing, we just gave our best building this car and we hope that it is good enough to get us to win races.”