(GMM) Sergio Perez admits he hired a “head shrink” this year from pressure of being decimated by his more talented teammate Max Verstappen.
Many insiders believe that, notwithstanding the Mexican’s signed-and-sealed 2024 contract, recent races indicate the Perez is no longer up to the task of being a Red Bull driver.
“When the season started, the car suited me perfectly,” Perez, 33, has now told De Limburger newspaper.
“But cars evolve during the season. After Miami it went downhill for me. I had another car that didn’t suit me very well.
“I then failed to get into Q3 a few times, which affected my confidence and made me drive a lot slower. But in the beginning I was competing for the world title.
“That was very difficult. Because when you drive for a top team, the pressure to perform increases rapidly,” said Perez.
However, notwithstanding his dismal and calamitous Japanese GP, Perez insists he has improved.
“My confidence returned when I realized that I had won races on my own earlier in the year,” he said. “I dare say that I am now 100 percent again.
“And I am once again convinced that I have a chance at the world title next year.”
However, he admits his 2023 struggles have affected him far behind the racetrack.
“Formula 1 is my sport, my life, my passion,” said Perez. “When you have such a hard time at work, it is difficult to be cheerful at home with your wife and children.
“That’s why I hired a mental coach because my family deserves to have that cheerful father at home. Together with my coach, I worked on becoming the best version of myself at home, but also as a driver.”
He therefore hits back at the notion that he is set to lose his Red Bull seat sooner rather than later.
“I am grateful to Red Bull for giving me the opportunity to drive for a top team,” said Perez. “After all, I am a driver who did not come from their own program.
“It would be great if I could end my career here. But being a driver for this team is not easy. Red Bull works in a different way than most teams.
“But that’s why they’re so successful.”
A win in Mexico City would make his year
Sergio Perez recently shared how much it would mean to him to win in his home country — Mexico. Despite being the most successful Mexican F1 driver in history, he has not managed to win a race on his turf. Thus, whenever that race win comes to him, he will feel ecstatic.
Speaking about it in an interview with De Limburger, Sergio Perez said that on his list of achievements, winning in Mexico is in second place, the first being winning the world championship.
“After becoming world champion, it’s my biggest dream: a victory in Mexico means everything to me,” Perez said.
“It’s an exhausting battle every year, with the home race and the GP in Austin just a week earlier. There’s a lot that comes my way during those races, but as soon as the visor comes down, my focus is on racing. I’ll do everything to win in Mexico. Will I ask Verstappen to let me win? No — Otherwise, that victory would mean nothing to me. I want to achieve it on my own merit.”