Perez expects strong challenges from Ferrari and McLaren in Monaco

Sergio Perez believes it will be tough for Red Bull to beat Ferrari and McLaren in this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Lando Norris won for McLaren in Miami before nearly following up with another victory as he chased down Max Verstappen in Imola but fell 0.7s short. Charles Leclerc was within eight seconds of the race winner last weekend as Ferrari introduced an upgraded car, and with Red Bull not expecting Monaco to play to its strengths, Perez is wary of how competitive its rivals could be.

“I think they will be in the mix, definitely,” Perez said. “They will be very hard to beat, actually. But at the same time I do expect other teams to be a surprise, because given how small the margins are in qualifying, here I’m sure some of the midfield teams will be able to put a great lap together and be in the mix as well.


“I know pretty much it’s all down to Saturday. If we are not on the front row, or third, we don’t have a chance of winning the race. So it’s important to be able to get in that first or second row at least.

“I think they’re just closing up a lot and we have to make sure that we do the same — we get a good upgrade. We haven’t put a massive upgrade on the car just yet, so they seem to be closing the gap. It’s great, also — I think we all want to see how McLaren and Ferrari perform with a car that they’re capable of winning races. I think it’s something that will be fascinating to watch.”

Perez heads into this weekend with his future still unconfirmed, as he currently doesn’t have a contract for 2025. But the Mexican is confident there will be serious talks soon and doesn’t want the situation to be a distraction during a key race weekend.

“It’s not like a percentage or anything like that — until you sign it doesn’t matter how close you are,” he said. “And anyway the focus right now is not on my contract, it’s mainly on this weekend.

“I know that negotiations are underway and at some point we will know and you will be the first ones to know. But most important now is not to think about one year or two years or three years, it’s about this weekend on Saturday — that’s my full focus.”

Story originally appeared on Racer