Perez “couldn’t care less” about F1 future speculation

Sergio Perez insists that he “couldn’t care less” about ongoing speculation about his future at the Red Bull Formula 1 team.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing

It has been fuelled by Tuesday’s confirmation that Daniel Ricciardo will replace Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri from the Hungarian GP.

The Australian now has the opportunity to prove that he has put his McLaren struggles behind him and is worthy of a return to a Red Bull race seat alongside Max Verstappen.

Perez had another difficult Saturday at Silverstone last weekend, finishing only 16th in Q1 and thus missing out on the top 10 for the fifth grand prix in a row.

In Sunday’s race he recovered to sixth place, but his ongoing struggles in qualifying ramped up gossip about his future.

Perez, who is now 99 points behind team-mate Max Verstappen in the world championship standings, is contracted to Red Bull for 2024.

However, as his own experience with Racing Point showed when he was not required for 2021 teams usually have the leeway with which to change their plans.

Asked by Autosport if he was ignoring all the talk, he said: “Yeah, fully. I couldn't care less if I'm honest about that.

“I've been in F1 13 years, and I've seen it all. Not worried about any of that. I'm mainly focused on getting my season on track and making sure I keep enjoying this.”

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: James Sutton / Motorsport Images

Perez insisted that he still has the backing of team principal Christian Horner and Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko.

“I have full support from Helmut and Christian,” he said. “The whole team is fully backing me, and they know what I can do. They know my potential, and they are fully behind me.”

Perez is continuing to work with his engineers on resolving his qualifying issues, which have been exacerbated by a series of tricky sessions in mixed conditions in recent weeks.

“I think it's just the amount of detail,” he said. “I have become a little bit more sensitive to the car in the last few races, especially on Saturday, when on low fuel.

“It's something that I’m going to work on from tomorrow in the simulator with the team.

“We have some ideas. But we operate in such a small window of detail. It’s just that we need a strong Saturday.

“And the positive thing is that the pace is there on Sundays, that, at the end of the day, is when the points are given. But we just have to sort out and have a clean weekend because the pace is there.

“I think it's with my driving, how I'm approaching the Saturdays, how we're doing it as a team, we just have to figure it out.

“The last qualifyings that I've had bad, they've been on changeable conditions, and it's where a lot of detail comes in play. So I'm not too concerned, I think we had a great Friday in terms of pace. We just have to sort out the qualifying, and we'll be fine.”

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: James Sutton / Motorsport Images

Perez remains confident that he can address his issues: “We're making progress, because the pace is there on Sundays.

“But it's just the whole weekend overall, we’ve had a few bad weekends. But it only matters where we finish in Abu Dhabi. So it's a long season still, and I fully believe that I can get my season back on track.”

Although he managed to recover to sixth place at Silverstone, Perez admitted that he’d had a difficult Sunday.

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“I mean, nothing worked today [Sunday],” he said. “I had a great launch, but then I was pushed off by [Esteban] Ocon on lap one, and I lost positions instead of gaining. So it just made it harder, the recovery.

“I used my tyres too much on that first stint. And then we boxed I think three laps before the safety car. So it wasn't meant to be. But in the end, we gave it all and we did what we possibly could.

“It was really, really hard to make progress. Especially at the end, when everyone is on the same tyre age, there is no tyre delta, it was really difficult to make any progress. Following through high-speed, it's quite tricky.”

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