Sergio Perez says he does not need Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen to gift him victory in this weekend's Mexico City Grand Prix.
With Verstappen having sealed the 2022 F1 Drivers' Championship two races ago in Japan, and Red Bull wrapping up the Constructors' title last week in Austin, the Milton Keynes squad have little else to play for over the season's remaining three races.
Though Perez is locked in a tight battle for second place in the Drivers' standings, sitting just two points behind Charles Leclerc, the Mexican said he was not expecting any favours from Verstappen as he seeks to win his home Grand Prix.
"I don't need to be given anything, I have achieved everything without any gifts for so many years," Perez told ESPN.
"In the end, I don't think about it, I think about my job, about being perfect this weekend and looking for that victory."
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Perez played a significant role in Verstappen's 2021 title win at the season's final Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi, holding up Lewis Hamilton by more than six seconds to allow Verstappen to close on the Briton.
The time loss Hamilton suffered prompted Verstappen to exclaim, "Checo is a legend!" as Perez pulled over to let him by.
With Verstappen able to remain within Hamilton's pit window as a result of Perez's interference, Mercedes could not pit Hamilton under the Safety Car when it was deployed to cover Nicholas Latifi's crash.
This proved to be a pivotal moment as Red Bull were able to pit Verstappen, with the Dutchman then using his fresher tyres to pass Hamilton on the last lap to win the race and snatch the 2021 title.
Though Perez has on occasion struggled to match the pace of his illustrious teammate since joining Red Bull last year, the Mexican has come closer to Verstappen than previous incumbents Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon.
After taking victory at this year's Monaco Grand Prix, Perez was rewarded with a contract extension that ties him to Red Bull until 2024, and the Mexican acknowledged that partnering Verstappen was one of the most difficult jobs in F1.
"You need to be mentally very strong to be a teammate of Max at Red Bull," said Perez.
"It is not a place that anyone on the grid could occupy, so I am happy, and I am proud of what I have achieved with the equipment at my disposal."
Should Perez win Sunday's Mexico City Grand Prix, he would become the first Mexican to win a World Championship Grand Prix on home soil.
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