Perez thanks Red Bull for support through 2023 'roller coaster'

Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing. 28.11.2023. Formula 1 Testing, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, Tuesday. -, EMail: © Copyright: Moy / XPB Images
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Red Bull driver Sergio Perez has thanked his team for sticking with him during what proved to be a wild up-and-down ride through 2023.

The season started well with two race wins in the first four outings, but then hit the skids with increasingly troubled qualifying performances putting him on the back foot for race day.

He did manage to steady the ship in the final races and emerged with the runners-up spot in the drivers' championship in the final standings, the first time Red Bull have had the top two drivers as well as team crown.

“Obviously we started really strongly the year," Perez trold last month's FIA Prize Giving Gala. "Then we had a bit of a rollercoaster mid-season,”

“But we didn’t give up, we stuck together as a team, and I want to thank my whole team for supporting me," he continued.

“We went through very tough times, but we managed to secure the best season in the history of our team," he added.

"We’ve learned from those difficult moments, [and] we will come back next year stronger," he concluded.

There had been speculation that Red Bull might consider dropping Perez in favour of former driver Daniel Ricciardo who made a return to racing with sister squad AlphaTauri mid-season.

But team boss Christian Horner had remained committed to the Mexican driver, at least for the remainder of his current contract in 2024.


“Being Max Verstappen’s team mate is a very, very tough gig,” Horner told Sky Sports. “I think that he’s shown real mental strength to be able to cope with that.

"The area that he needs to focus on and improve next year is going to be Saturdays, making sure that his average qualifying is a lot closer to Max," he acknowledged.

“We know he can race and he’s got great pace, but we need him to be starting further up the grid."

Perez and Red Bull 'got away' with poor grid spots this year because of the sheer dominance of the RB19 on race day. But Horner is aware that advantage is unlikely to last.


"Particularly if the grid is going to converge, then we can’t afford to have a lot of cars between Max and Checo," he stated.

As to whether Perez will stay in the car beyond the end of the next season, Horner was non-commital.

“The car has been very attractive for other drivers to want to be in, so we’re not short of options," he pointed out. “Obviously there’s no guarantees of anything.

"But Checo, he’s our driver in 2024, and if he does a great job we’ll want to keep him for 2025," he added. "It’s all going to be about how he performs and how he delivers in relation to his team mate.”

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