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Perez issues Red Bull Verstappen demand for 2023

Sergio Perez has warned Red Bull that he needs Max Verstappen to play fair in 2023.

Sergio Perez has warned Red Bull that if he does not receive any "support when I need it" then he won't assist Formula 1 teammate Max Verstappen in 2023. A major talking point at the end of the 2022 season was the team orders saga that erupted when Verstappen ignored repeated requests to let Perez back through in the Brazilian Grand Prix to aid his battle for P2 in the Drivers' standings. Verstappen was believed to be irked at the manner in which Perez crashed during Monaco qualifying, where he secured himself third and denying the World Champion a chance to improve from fourth - although suggestions it was done deliberately were denied by Perez when asked by RacingNews365. The Mexican now believes that he would not play the team game, unless Verstappen does so too.

Perez on team orders

"It's important to always work as a team and obviously if I see that I don't receive support when I need it I won't give it either," Perez explained to Fox Sports Mexico . "That's obvious, but I don't expect any of that. "I [was] very surprised [about Verstappen's refusal to abide by the order]. I don't know what happened, especially with everything I've done for [Verstappen], I don't think I understand his reasons. "If he has two championships, it is thanks to me. "It is going to be a very intense season, with six cars possibly fighting for the championship, so it's going to be very important to work as a team in many races."

'At the best team'

Perez is starting his third season at Red Bull in 2023, just as the team seems to be becoming the dominant force once again in F1, having toppled Mercedes. And four-time Grand Prix winner Perez says he does not feel threatened in his position or by the arrival of Daniel Ricciardo as a reserve driver. "I'm at Red Bull, it's the best team in Formula 1 and Red Bull can have the driver they want, so it doesn't change anything," he said. "It's a very important benefit to have Ricciardo supporting us in the simulator, and in the races he's going to be here." "Without a doubt this year will determine many things, how good I am, how much I want to continue in the sport, without a doubt it is a crucial year in my career. "If you don't have 100% desire to get up, to train every day, to take care of what you eat all year, everything you have to give to the sport, if you don't have that energy at 100 percent, I don't see myself being here at 90%."

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