Perez sets focus on 2023 title: 'I'm pretty much at my best'

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Twenty-one races down and one more to go. But Red Bull's Sergio Perez has already declared his ambitions for 2023: the world title!

Perez heads into F1's finale in Abu Dhabi tied with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc for the runner-up spot in the Drivers' standings.

And the Mexican will give his all, with or without the help of his teammate Max Verstappen, to deliver to Red Bull's its first 1-2 in the championship in its history.

After his triumph at Monaco where he beat his rivals, including Verstappen, fair and square, Perez was a legitimate contender for the title.

But by his own admittance a few bad races set him back and dropped him out of the running.

"Certainly, it started really well. Some reliability issues in the beginning, but things were looking on track," he said in Brazil last week.

"We were in the mix for the championship early on. I had a couple of bad races that really put me off contention for the championship."

The 32-year-old charger from Guadalajara knows that lack of consistence will always weigh heavily on a campaign, especially in one fought against the ultra-steady and persistent Max Verstappen.

Perez therefore knows what he needs to improve for 2023.

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"There is some work to do in that regard together with the team to make sure that we can keep that consistency throughout and that we can come back next year and fight for the title if we were to have a similar level of car for next year."

But he also admits that his championship bid will also depend on how he starts the year.

"It’s important that we finish our season on a high so that we can come back next year and start strong," he said.

"I think it really depends on how comfortable I am at the start of the season with the car, as I was in the beginning of the season, then it slipped away."

Regardless of what the short or longer-term future have in store, Perez believes that he is currently at his best.

"So I think as Formula 1 drivers, we are constantly working for new challenges, you know, all the time. But I do feel, at this time, I’m pretty much at my best."

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