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Formula 1 Canadian GP

Perez looks for F1 season “reset” but denies pressure claims

Sergio Perez says he wants to “reset” his 2023 Formula 1 season in Canada, but has denied suggestions from Red Bull boss Christian Horner he is now under less pressure.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing

After a strong run of races, Perez had a disastrous weekend in Monaco, failing to score after a crash early in Q1, and another qualifying mistake in Barcelona saw him start down the field and recover to fourth in the race.

Having at one stage put himself within six points of team-mate Max Verstappen in the title battle Perez is now 53 behind.

"Basically, I want to reset, go again,” he said when asked about his mindset heading into the Canadian weekend. “Basically Monaco was all down to me, I had a really bad mistake.

“But then in Barcelona in the qualifying again, it was tricky with the damp conditions, we didn't manage to have a good quali, and then we paid the price on Sunday. So I think I'm looking forward to getting back on the form we had in the early season.”

After his recovery drive in Barcelona Horner suggested that Perez had put himself under too much pressure ahead of Monaco when the title battle closed up and that with the gap now open again he will be able to relax. However, Perez doesn’t see it that way.

"Well, no, I don't think so,” he said. “I think we all have to deliver to our maximum and we just have to make sure we will deliver.

“We have a great car, and we should be having a lot of podiums, wins and so on from now till the end of the year. We can see that the competition is getting closer and closer all the time, but we will try our best.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, leads Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, leads Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Perez acknowledged that he has to match Verstappen and deliver perfect weekends.

"Well, I think he has been able to deliver when it mattered in qualifying, and he hasn't had bad weekends at all this year,” he said. “And I think it's what I need. I cannot afford to have any bad weekends anymore.

“I think I've had two or three bad weekends in the season. So I really have to get rid of those and keep the consistency high. Because I think it's something that Max has been really good and consistent throughout this period.”

He insisted that the only race at which he has really lacked performance was Spain: "It was difficult in Barcelona. The only time that I had difficulties with the car, I did struggle through the weekend.

“So it was tricky in Barcelona, but other than that, I think in Monaco, we had the pace to really have a very good weekend but I did a mistake, I was caught up with a tailwind, with a car ahead, and so on. So now I think it's the first time we had difficulties it was in Barcelona."

Asked if Perez was overreaching Verstappen suggested that the Mexican has to just focus on himself.

“I find it difficult to comment on that because I don't know what's going on in his head,” said the World Championship leader. “But I always learned from a young age it's better to just focus on yourself and try to do the best you can because all the other things are out of your control anyway.

“So there's no point to try and focus on that. And that's also how I approach it. I mean, you have always in a season that some races are not going to plan or you have setbacks, but it's very important just to stay focused on the job and really try to work with the car and the engineers around it to get the best out of it.”

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