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Perez explains why he expects to be more competitive in 2022

Sergio Perez says he is "more prepared" and "up for the fight" as he gets ready to embark on his second season alongside Max Verstappen at Red Bull.

Sergio Perez is hopeful that his year of adapting to the Red Bull environment will pay dividends in 2022, as he looks to capitalise on F1's all-new regulations. Having spent the previous seven F1 campaigns with Force India/Racing Point after being dropped by McLaren, Perez was given a chance to return to front-running machinery when Red Bull opted to look outside of their own talent pool for 2021. In a season of extremes, Perez went from the high of winning in Azerbaijan to the low of getting knocked out in Q1 in the Netherlands, as he struggled for consistency with a car that teammate Max Verstappen found much easier to exploit.

Perez feeling more prepared for second season at Red Bull

Having last season trailed Verstappen by an average of 0.513 seconds in qualifying, and scored less than half of the Dutchman's 395.5-point tally, Perez is confident that he will deliver a more competitive and consistent 2022 campaign. Looking ahead to this weekend's season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Perez said: "Automatically you feel more settled going into your second year with a team. "I feel more prepared because I now know exactly how the team operate and the Red Bull Racing philosophy, so that makes a difference." He went on to comment: "I know the important thing is that I am consistent throughout the year – I am up for the fight."

Perez eager to see where Red Bull stand in the F1 pecking order

Red Bull ended the pre-season at the top of the timesheets, with Perez and Verstappen leading the final morning and afternoon sessions in Bahrain after the team applied some eye-catching upgrades to their RB18. Perez described Red Bull's preparations as "really good" and is excited to see where he and the outfit stand when the competitive action gets underway. "Every team is in the same position starting the season, in that we don't know the car as much because of the shake-up in regulations, but we had a really good test, both in Bahrain and Barcelona," said Perez. "It will be interesting to see where everyone is come Sunday, when the flag comes down, and I think it will make for a good race."

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