The secret behind Sergio Perez’s upturn in form? Key change credited

A change in Sergio Perez's approach has been pinpointed as boosting his F1 form.

Sergio Perez on the grid at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
Sergio Perez on the grid at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

A key change in approach has been credited for Sergio Perez’s upswing in form at the start of the 2024 F1 season.

Perez is out of contract at the end of the year and entered the new campaign under huge pressure to hold onto his seat for next season, following a difficult 2023.

Although he ultimately claimed his best-ever finish in the drivers’ championship by securing P2 behind Max Verstappen, Perez struggled to match his teammate’s performances and suffered a major slump in form.

The Mexican missed out on Q3 a stunning five times in a row despite being in the field’s dominant car and endured several miserable weekends - including a notable low point in Qatar - but held onto runner-up spot and his seat.

Perez has enjoyed a stronger start to 2024 and completed back-to-back Red Bull 1-2s behind Verstappen at the opening two rounds in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Speaking on the F1 Nation podcast, Fox Sports Mexico journalist Diego Mejia pinpointed a crucial change Perez has made over the winter.

“He’s happy with the feeling he’s getting at with the car. His benchmark [Max Verstappen] is the highest obviously and he’s done a perfect job. I think Checo is happy with how the season has started for him,” Mejia said.

“Talking to him before the start of the season, he seems to have switched a little bit his approach, in trying to enjoy more this year and look race-by-race, rather than putting himself in the spotlight and saying ‘I have to beat Max every weekend’.

“Sometimes he did last year and the year before when he was he was in the middle of the championship. He’s taking a different approach.

“He knows it’s a decisive year for him but the way he’s performing and the way other guys who are supposed to be looking after his seat are performing, I think it’s a great start for him.”

Mejia continued: “He’s told me he’s learned a lot of lessons from what happened last year and this sort of changed approach, also in the way he works with his side of the garage.

“There was some talk outside that maybe things weren’t working as they should and he recognised that at some point while trying to beat Max, he was making the car actually slower, trying to change something that wasn’t right. The car was not going any quicker for him.

“He realised that after the year. There were no changes on his side of the garage. He has exactly the same people as last year and that’s a vote of confidence for his engineer, for his performance engineer, the people looking after the electronics and the starts, everything that’s so crucial.

“He’s got a very nice bond with them and they appreciated Checo’s support and I think that has only made him stronger. It’s showing I guess at the start of this year. Hopefully he can keep it up because it’s not going to be easy.” 

Read More