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Formula 1 Miami GP

Perez: I'm not just an F1 street circuit specialist

Sergio Perez is adamant that he is not just a Formula 1 street circuit specialist, and that his current run of form will carry forward to more conventional tracks.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

The Mexican’s triumph at the recent Azerbaijan Grand Prix has put him firmly in to world title contention as he hunts down Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen.

But, with five of his six F1 race victories having come on street circuits, there remain question marks over whether he can deliver success at more traditional venues.

Yet Perez believes that the progress he has made in unlocking performance from his Red Bull, which he has viewed as key to beating Verstappen in Saudi Arabia and Baku this year, will work just as well at normal circuits.

PLUS: How Perez's "in the fight" claim for F1 2023 title glory really stacks up

“The reason I'm strong on these circuits is because I am able to play with the car much more than I used to,” he said.

“So I see no reason why, when we go to different circuits, I am not able to play with the car the same way I've been doing.”

Perez thinks that it's his confidence in finding the limit of a car, and dealing with the extra pressure that comes from racing so close to walls, that are key to explaining why he is so good on street tracks.

“I think in the street circuits you have to be very strong in the race, and very strong with the pressure,” he said.

“You have to be able to handle the pressure because you're not able to make mistakes. If you do a small mistake, in a normal circuit, you can get away with it. 

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

“But in the streets, you cannot get away with those mistakes. And I probably have more confidence than others come race day. 

“At the end of the day, the way I won in Baku on pure pace, it doesn't matter if it's a street circuit or a permanent circuit. If I'm able to do that in Baku I can do that anywhere.”

Perez has been left free to race Verstappen so far this season, and is sure that the open policy between the pair will stay in force to give him an equal shot of the title.

“I do believe that the team will give me as much support as they do with Max, as that is what they've been doing since pretty much the start of the season,” he said.

“In that regard, I think we have to appreciate that a lot from Red Bull. It would be very easy for Red Bull to implement team orders from lap 20, to look after the cars and make sure we have a very reliable car and so on. 

“But no, in Jeddah and in Baku, we've pushed flat out throughout the race, and we hit the wall a few times both drivers.”

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