Upbeat Perez feeling confidence 'slowly coming back’


Sergio Perez is a driver reborn this season with a renewed sense of confidence after a strong start to his 2024 campaign with Red Bull that follows a troubled 2023 for the Mexican.

Last year, Perez's performance dipped significantly mid-season, particularly in qualifying. He struggled to unlock the full potential of Red Bull’s dominant RB19, falling far short of teammate and eventual champion Max Verstappen's pace.

This led to a period of intense introspection for both driver and team. Together they conducted a thorough analysis of Perez's struggles, ultimately adopting a more streamlined approach.

And the shift has borne fruit, with Perez securing a trio of second-place finishes in the first four races of 2024.

Perez’s improvement was further evident at the Japanese Grand Prix last time out.

There, the Mexican pushed Verstappen for pole position, a stark contrast to the previous season where he qualified nearly eight-tenths adrift from the Dutchman at Suzuka.

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Perez opened up on how a winter of change had bred his early season success.

“We were playing around with the car far too much and just going through it and I think now we have a much better base,” he explained, speaking to F1.com. “We are a lot happier, and the weekends just progress.

“I think when we came here last year, we were at the stage of our season where [nothing] was working. When you are in that, you just go around circles and circles. Then we found out in the end, towards the end of the year, that it was better.

“Just step back and don’t try to chase it too much with the set-up, because then you start compromising other things, and I think that’s been the case for this year.

“I’m a lot more comfortable, a lot happier and the confidence is slowly coming back.”

Currently, Perez sits just 13 points behind Verstappen in F1’s drivers’ championship.

With his confidence steadily rising and a car that suits him better, Perez appears poised to build on his momentum and potentially challenge Verstappen’s hegemony as the season unfolds.


In Japan, Red Bull introduced several updates on its RB20 which have led to further improvements according to Perez.

“I think we just improved – we’ve got a better car,” he said. “Probably this track [Suzuka], it’s hard to see the upgrade, because it’s more biased to other circuits.

“So I think from that point of view we’ve got to wait a couple of races to really learn from it, from that package.”

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