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Sergio Perez

Perez warns Verstappen: I can be World Champion

Lying second in the 2022 championship standings after a consummate victory at Monaco on top of four more podium finishes, Sergio Perez believes he is capable of being F1 World Champion.

Perez win Monaco
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Sergio Perez is confident that he can become Formula 1 World Champion in 2022, saying he would not be competing in the sport if he did not believe he was capable of achieving that goal.

The Mexican currently sits second in the 2022 F1 Drivers' Championship, with a win at the Monaco Grand Prix allied to four second-place finishes, and he might have had another win at Jeddah were it not for an unfortunately-timed Safety Car deployment.

While Red Bull have seemingly coalesced around reigning World Champion Max Verstappen in recent years, Perez maintained that he too was capable of scaling F1's highest peak.

"I'm here because I think I can be World Champion. This is why I get up every morning," Perez told Canada's French-language outlet La Presse.

"If I was here thinking I want to finish second, I should stay home instead. I'm here because I want to win and I think I can do it.

"Having this motivation is what drives me. That's why I'm here."

Perez talks up current form

After years in mediocre machinery, Perez finally got his chance in a front-running team when he signed for Red Bull in 2021.

His Monaco win bookended a fantastic week for Perez, who was later revealed to have signed a new contract keeping him at the Milton Keynes squad until the end of 2024, and the Mexican talked up his current form.

"I think I drive at an extremely high level," said Perez.

"Maintaining this level every week and all season is what will open the door to fight for the championship.

"To be in the race, to think about the championship, about the fact that all the points count, it's a big challenge and a huge opportunity for my career."

			© XPB
	© XPB

Red Bull's start is even better than expected, says Perez

Red Bull have rebounded in style from reliability concerns earlier in 2022, with the team having won the last five races and Max Verstappen leading the Drivers' Championship ahead of Perez in second, and the Mexican said the early season had exceeded expectations.

"The early season is even better than I imagined, to be honest," he explained.

"We had some issues with our reliability, we were a bit unlucky for a few races, but I think overall we were competitive."

Perez added that he maintained total trust in his team, after initially appearing irked at being asked to move aside for Verstappen at the Spanish Grand Prix when the Dutchman was on a slightly different tyre strategy to Perez.

"I had a good chat with the team," said Perez of the order, adding that he would agree to do likewise again.

"If they told me to do it, I would do what they asked me to do. I don't see why that wouldn't make sense."

			© Red Bull Contentpool
	© Red Bull Contentpool

Perez uninterested in rivalry with compatriots

Perez's victory in Monaco was his third career Grand Prix victory, seeing him surpass Pedro Rodriguez as his country's most successful F1 driver.

However, Perez said he was uninterested in how he measured up to his compatriot, adding that he was keen to see a Mexican driver come along and better his own achievements.

"I don't like comparisons between Mexicans," Perez continued.

"As a Mexican, I'm really proud of what others have accomplished, of what I've accomplished.

"I don't care if I'm the best or not. The important thing is that we are all proud of each other.

"I think there is a lot of talent in my country and I would love to see a Mexican do even better than me. I would feel extremely proud."

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