Sergio Perez not backing down with Max Verstappen back in his sights

Henry Valantine
Sergio Perez looking through his visor. Miami, May 2023.

Sergio Perez looking through his visor. Miami, May 2023.

Sergio Perez is looking to bounce back from his Monaco troubles with a “perfect weekend” at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.

The Mexican driver started last in Monaco after crashing out of Q1 and, with overtaking being so difficult around the circuit, he could only rise to 16th in the race, being lapped twice by team-mate and eventual race winner, Max Verstappen – pitting five times during the race in the process.

That misery on Sunday only compounded what he will have felt after admitting his crash at Sainte Devote came down to driver error on Saturday, which ultimately saw him fall 39 points behind his team-mate in the Drivers’ Championship standings heading into this weekend in Barcelona.

He came in for criticism after the weekend finished, with Sky F1’s Martin Brundle saying Perez would be better served acknowledging his team-mate’s “genius” at times and trying to ensure he finished second behind him, and making the most of his better days on track.

He wrote in his post-race column for Sky Sports: “Sergio would be better off making sure he finishes second and accepting the genius of Verstappen, and then maximise the days when he delivers his own special magic such as Singapore last year and Baku this season.”

But the Mexican is keeping his head up and wants to get himself back in the title fight where possible, having scored two impressive wins so far this season.

“Monaco was a disaster for me,” Perez said ahead of the weekend.

“Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. So this weekend is all about starting again and making sure we get back to the high standards we have set all season.

“I want to repay my team for all their hard work with a good result in Barcelona.” recommends

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With Red Bull clearly having the fastest car in the field this season, Perez is undimmed in his ambition to try and take the fight to Verstappen on track at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend.

With that, however, he knows a “perfect weekend” is needed on his side of the garage to begin the unenviable task of trying to reel in the two-time World Champion.

“We know we have the quickest car out there on the right day and this circuit should suit us,” Perez said.

“I just need to make sure I have a perfect weekend from start to finish.

“I need to be consistent to maintain any pressure on Max in the Championship and I need to pick up some wins. If I can get it right here the win is achievable and that’s the aim, as always.”