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Sergio Perez

Perez reveals new contract details: Being number two was not a topic

Sergio Perez has revealed when he put pen to paper on his new deal with Red Bull.

Perez Monaco
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Sergio Perez's new contract with Red Bull won't see him forced to play a supporting role to Max Verstappen, according to the Mexican driver.

Perez was confirmed on a new two-year deal after his Monaco Grand Prix win, meaning he'll remain with the Milton Keynes-based squad until the end of 2024.

But, having helped Verstappen to title victory in 2021, Perez's form has been much more competitive throughout 2022 – to the point where he is just 15 points behind his World Champion teammate after seven races.

As a result, it's triggered plenty of speculation about whether Perez will be allowed to fight against Verstappen for a title win if the circumstances continue to be as competitive as they are.

Perez gives details of new deal

Asked to clarify when he signed his new deal, and whether a supporting role was one of the caveats of the contract, Perez revealed he is playing on a level field with the Dutch driver.

"It was signed on Friday before Monaco," he told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"We didn't discuss about that [supporting role]. There's nothing in my contract that says that I need to finish second or something like that, so it was not a topic in the contract at all."

Having got his new deal in the bag at quite an early stage in the season, Perez said that he feels a great weight off his shoulders to have certainly regarding his future.

"I certainly feel like, as a driver, you want certainty and you want to get that stress out of the way," he explained.

"So, the earlier, the better. It takes so much, so much energy and so much focus to be 100 per cent, weekend by weekend, that you don't need that thinking so it was good that we agreed so early on the contract.

"I feel like I've got a good opportunity so obviously the season is still very young so anything can still happen."

Why is Perez faring so much better in 2022?

Perez's significant uptick in form has come about at the same time as a major regulation change, with the new cars perhaps suiting the Mexican driver's style more than the previous generation.

Asked whether his 2022 form can be attributed to the change in regulations, Perez said that was one component, but familiarity with the team also makes a difference after getting his first year behind him.

"I think, last year, we obviously came into set-up regulations that had been there for a while," he said.

"So people who stayed longer in the teams had a good advantage. So coming new to this car, this philosophy of car, it was very difficult for me to adapt and to always extract the maximum.

"He [Verstappen] had a very unique driving style that it took me a while to adapt to, the end of the season was fine, but it just took me too long throughout the season.

"I think, starting from zero, it's a good opportunity for everyone.

"Especially given that it's my second year with Red Bull, I think that's something that makes it already a lot better – knowing my engineers, knowing the people around me, that's a big step and the car. I feel comfortable with it, and I'm able to extract the maximum."

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