Pérez Rues ‘Few Bad Races’ Mid-Season but Pleased with Late Resurgence in 2022

Sergio Pérez admitted it was pleasing to get back on track after early season reliability concerns during the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, although a mid-season slump saw him fall drastically away from team-mate Max Verstappen in the Drivers’ Championship.

Pérez was on course for a top three finish in the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix only for his engine to seize at the start of the final lap, forcing into a spin at turn one.  However, he recovered superbly by securing his maiden Formula 1 pole position in the next race in Saudi Arabia, although he was denied victory by an ill-timed safety car when he appeared to have the race in his pocket.

The Mexican would take his first victory of the season in Monaco but would only win once more in 2022 as he took the chequered flag first in Singapore, with Oracle Red Bull Racing team-mate Verstappen taking a remarkable fifteen victories on his way to the title.

Updates to the RB18 saw his performance drop around mid-season, with Pérez admitting that he was far less comfortable in the car then than at the start of the year. 

However, he clawed his way back towards the end, with podium finishes in Japan, Mexico City and Abu Dhabi on top of his Singapore win, and he was only denied second in the Drivers’ Championship by Charles Leclerc by three points.

“It started very difficultly with the reliability that we had early on in the beginning of the season,” Perez is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com.  “But I think later on, we were quite competitive, we were very consistent.

“Then we had a few bad races that put us a bit behind Max, but we still managed to get some good points, good podiums, a few wins.  I think we got our season back on track for the final eight or so races. It was an intense battle towards the end with Charles and Ferrari.”

Pérez says he felt more at home at Red Bull during his second campaign with them, with the Mexican having joined ahead of the 2021 season during the coronavirus pandemic having lost his seat with the then BWT Racing Point F1 Team, which subsequently morphed into the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team.

“Getting into a new team, it’s pretty intense, especially joining the team during the COVID times made it a little bit more difficult getting to know everyone around me,” Perez said.  “It was tricky, but I think certainly it was a massive difference. I can just feel that things are just getting better.

“This morning I had a good breakfast with all my engineers, and we could already feel that we are so much more prepared with every year we have together.  Certainly things are heading in the right direction.”