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Perez: Nothing in my contract says I need to finish second

Perez: Nothing in my contract says I need to finish second

Perez: Nothing in my contract says I need to finish second
Sergio Perez is adamant that nothin in the new contract he signed with Red Bull mentions that he has to play second fiddle to teammate Max Verstappen.

Sergio Perez won the Monaco Grand Prix two weeks ago, where Max Verstappen was uncharacteristically off the pace.

After the race, Red Bull announced that he will be remaining with the team for two more seasons, and as he is not 15 points only behind Verstappen in the 2022 Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship, questions are being asked about his status within the team.

Speaking to the media on Friday in Baku, Perez was asked about his new contract, and whether there was any mention about his status as a second driver.

“It was signed on Friday before Monaco,” he revealed. “We didn’t discuss about that, there’s nothing in my contract that says that I need to finish second or something like that, you know.

“So it was not a topic in the contract at all,” the Mexican insisted.

Perez won in Baku last year after Verstappen’s DNF due to a tyre failure, and seems to be riding a wave of confidence since Monaco and his contract renewal.

Perez the faster Red Bull driver in Baku as well

He was fastest in FP1 in Baku and second fastest in FP2, again faster than Verstappen who was third in both practice sessions.

Reflecting on his Friday in Baku, he said: “It was a good start to the day but the second session didn’t go as well as we would have liked.

“We explored some things this afternoon and the results we wanted didn’t come but we have collected good data with both tyres, as well as on the long runs.

“There is a lot to look over this evening and go through to hook it up for qualifying tomorrow. Initially the long run data looks good for the race but there are a lot of details we need to look into more.

“I feel confident around this circuit, as always with the braking you will make some mistakes here and there so I will keep my head down and focus on eradicating that,” he concluded.

Max Verstappen couldn’t seem to gel with his RB18 in Baku after he faced the same issues in Monaco, and was playing catch-up to his teammate and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Verstappen requires more front end from RB18

“Checo is a bit more comfortable than last year,” Verstappen said on Friday. “For my side, yeah, I would like a bit more front end, that’s what we’re working at.

“I don’t say like I’m uncomfortable in the car but these cars are so heavy, and long, and wide that, with increased weight as well, you want a car, which turns better, because it just goes faster around a corner.

“You can extract a bit more in qualifying when you really push it, which I cannot at the moment, but it’s not all very dramatic.

“I mean, I still won four races. So, that’s more than I did last year at this time. So, it’s not that bad. It’s just fine-tuning little things,” he revealed.

Speaking of his practice sessions in Baku where he seemed to be facing more issues with his DRS again, the Dutchman said: “Overall it was not a bad day, we look quite decent, we just need to fine tune a few things.

“I was a bit unlucky with my soft tyre runs in FP1 and FP2, there were a few yellow flags so I had to back out. It seems like Ferrari is quite quick over one lap again, the long runs look a bit more even so that’s positive.

“The tyres seem to be working well after one lap which is good for a street circuit. We tried to fix the DRS after FP1, it seemed to be alright in FP2.

“My long runs went well, I did a grand total of three laps [laughs]. We should have enough info now to know how to play it with tyres this weekend,” he concluded.