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Perez shrugs off 'wingman' tag and refuses to rule out title charge

Perez shrugs off 'wingman' tag and refuses to rule out title charge

F1 News

Perez shrugs off 'wingman' tag and refuses to rule out title charge

Perez shrugs off 'wingman' tag and refuses to rule out title charge
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Sergio Perez shrugged off any suggestion he is simply a 'wingman' at Red Bull this year and suggested rapid improvement could result in a charge for the F1 drivers' title.

The Mexican won his first race for Red Bull last time out in Azerbaijan, mopping up the points after team-mate Max Verstappen lost his chance of victory with a tyre blowout.

Whilst Perez has been adapting to life at Red Bull, Verstappen has opened up a sizeable lead in the standings with the gap separating the two standing at 36 points.

Perez qualified fourth for the French Grand Prix, rueing a loss of power on his first flying lap as he missed out on the front row with Verstappen storming to pole.

Asked if he was accepting of the term 'wingman', Perez responded: "Well, I am just focusing on myself and trying to do the best I possibly can for myself and for the team.

"You just maximise every single weekend with what I am able to do in terms of performance."

On whether he could mount a title challenge, he added: "Yeah, there is a long way ahead, it is only race number [seven].

"We will see what happens. My races are much better than my Saturdays which is what really matters.

"I am just going to improve. Of all, I think I am going to be the one who improves the most so as long as I stay in the mix, who knows what will happen."

Perez learning "every single time I drive the car"

Despite achieving the top spot last time out, Perez has revealed he is still getting used to the RB16B and gaining experience with every lap completed.

"I still think that the more races I do, I have come to a team that is different to what I have been used to and every single time I drive the car I just learn," he explained.

"When I experience low fuel loads, it is just getting better."

On his chances at Paul Ricard, he stated: "Certainly, at the moment the strongest point is the race pace so I would expect to be very strong and we should really be in a good fight for the podium."

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