Sergio Perez has voiced for the first time that he believes he cannot beat Max Verstappen to the 2023 Formula 1 title.
After four rounds of the season, Perez was just six points behind Verstappen in the sister Red Bull, with both claiming two wins apiece.
However, since the Miami Grand Prix, Perez has just one podium - third in Austria - and has failed to advance through to Q3 for five straight races, all while Verstappen has taken six poles and wins on the trot to open up a 99 point lead in the standings.
Perez previously maintained he could beat Verstappen to the title, but the Mexican now believes this is not possible.
Viewed by others:
"In Formula 1, only your position in Abu Dhabi matters," Perez told Spanish media during a Red Bull show run in Madrid.
"I am not second In the World Championship by a miracle, I have won races and have had some bad races, but we have everything ahead of us.
"My objective now is definitely to be runner-up in the World Championship - and I am only thinking about the Hungarian Grand Prix."
Perez also touched on the resurgence of F1 in Spain, with both Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz doing well for Aston Martin and Ferrari respectively after a period of relative disinterest in Grand Prix racing.
"Fernando is a big surprise this year, they have made a big step, but also McLaren in the last race," said Perez.
"Everything is much closer with these rules, Carlos is a great driver, Fernando too. There is no reason to compare them, Spain should take advantage and enjoy the great moment it has because it may not be repeated again in the history of Spanish motorsport."