Sergio Perez believes his performances in Formula 1 have been overshadowed by the potential of his machinery as he looks set to lose his seat on the 2021 grid.
Racing Point has signed Sebastian Vettel to replace Perez ahead of the team’s rebranding as Aston Martin next season, and with Haas set to sign Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, the only realistic option left is at Red Bull. After a podium in Turkey, Perez needs just two more points to register his best-ever season total in F1, but says questions about how well he is driving overlook past performances.
“From my side it’s been a good season but also Formula 1, it’s so much related to your car’s potential,” Perez said. “I think I’ve had very good seasons in the past but they were not seen as a good year because of the car potential. I was finishing seventh in the championship a couple of times, eighth (once), but I was still doing a good job, a tremendous job.
“I think right now I’m at a very good level in my career — I think probably at my peak in terms of experience, understanding, communication-wise with the team as well. I’ve been a while with the team, so that also helps.
“I think the season has been a bit up and down due to a lot of things — circumstances, some on track, some off track but still we’re getting our season on track and I’m sure this podium will help us to finish the last few races on a high.”
With Perez and Nico Hulkenberg not likely to be taken off the market, Alex Albon is getting until the end of the season to try and retain his seat, and the Mexican — who is fourth in the drivers’ championship despite missing two races due to COVID-19 — admits that means he can’t convince Red Bull to sign him based solely on his own performances.
“As always you have to be delivering weekend after weekend and you are only as good as your last race, so it’s important to finish on a high,” he said. “The rest is not in my hands.”