Mexican driver Sergio Perez has declared himself a true contender for the Formula One championship after a victorious weekend in Azerbaijan. The Red Bull racer beat teammate Max Verstappen to win the Grand Prix and become the first driver to win the race twice.
"Having three kids at home, I wouldn't be travelling around the world if I didn't believe that I can be a world champion and I'm working towards that," Perez said in an interview with Sky Sports TV. "There is so much you can talk outside the car, it's important to deliver on the track and I think without the issues we had in qualifying in Melbourne we should be leading the championship.
So definitely there is everything to believe that we can do well this year." Perez has won six races in his career, with five of those victories coming on street circuits. He knows that winning the championship is a long road ahead, but he is determined to fight for it.
"I am fighting for it, but I also know it's a long road ahead," he said.
Perez and Verstappen have been pushing each other to new heights this season. The two Red Bull drivers have delivered three 1-2 finishes so far this season, including this past weekend in Azerbaijan.
"We are just pushing each other massively and I think this year is about not making those mistakes," Perez said. "Yesterday we executed a perfect short race and today once again we executed a tremendous race," Perez said of their performance over the weekend.
"I think we delivered under pressure massively because every single session was so critical in this [sprint weekend] format. It was really important to deliver when it mattered." Team boss Christian Horner was full of praise for Perez's "phenomenal drive" over the weekend. "He's always been outstanding at this track," Horner said.
"He absolutely excels here. He got a little lucky with the safety car today but then he converted that and pulled a gap and he had the pace and really controlled the race."
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