Verstappen pressure ‘motivated me to carry on’ – Perez

Sergio Perez says his performances would be viewed differently if he was alongside another driver other than Max Verstappen due to the standard his Red Bull teammate sets.

Verstappen has won the past three drivers’ championships and currently leads the standings this year, with Perez down in fifth place after back-to-back retirements. last season, Perez was runner-up in the championship for the first time in his career and helped secure Red Bull’s first one-two in the drivers’ standings. Following a two-year contract extension he says the mental toughness required to race alongside Verstappen is underestimated.

“I think you’ve seen with other drivers that have been here how tough it is,” Perez told RACER. “I think Red Bull is different to any other team in that regard. Mentally it takes everything out of you, and you have to be very strong mentally to cope with the pressure that there is always with this team.


“But it’s what I found amazing at this point of my career, it’s a challenge. Every day is a new challenge and you just keep learning, keep growing, and I want to do the very best for this team.

“From the outside there is a lot [of pressure], there’s a lot going on, and inside the team I mean you have a reference where you currently have the best driver on the grid next to you and he’s performing at such a high level, at one with the car… If you go to another team and had another teammate, you would already look very different.

“But it’s what I find great, to have this challenge and to be Max’s teammate is what really motivated me to carry on, because it’s a massive challenge.”

Amid a busy driver market, Perez says he did have an opportunity to move to another team for 2025, but that his intention is to remain with Red Bull until he finishes racing in Formula 1.

“I had a few options outside of the team, but to me the main idea and the main goal was to carry on with the team,” he said. “I’m really happy. I really enjoy working with the group of engineers, with the group of mechanics, everyone is just flat out and giving their all.

“I’m super happy to continue this journey together, and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity that they’ve given me. I would really love to finish my career at this team.”

Story originally appeared on Racer