Sergio Perez could not clinch the second place in the championship after finishing the Abu Dhabi GP behind Ferrari´s Charles Leclerc. The Mexican driver was really close to the Monegasque at the final stages of the race but couldn´t challenge for position.
Checo who had a turbulent week with teammate Max Verstappen accepted the result gracefully and vows for a stronger comeback in 2023.
“it's how it is. Sometimes everything can be really close. But at the end of the day, I’ve got to be happy. You know, I gave it all. We gave it all through the season. And I'm sure we will come back stronger for next year.”
Considering the challenges this year Checo believes the tyres made him struggle, and hopes he will improve it for the next one to be stronger from the beginning.
“Well, certainly, you know, we had great moments, great battling. I struggled a bit with these tyres this year, you know, in terms of managing the tyres in the race. So hopefully that can be something that we will improve for next year, and generally just be a bit stronger.”
Perez accepts that today they could not do much against Ferrari and Leclerc who were really strong in tyre management.
“Well, I think it's how this sport really works. You know, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Today, I think Ferrari and Charles did a fantastic race. They have great tyre management. And they were stronger than us, especially on that first stint. I died towards the end. And that made it a little bit tricky, our strategy. And it was that second stint, while I was behind Max, Max was on a one-stop, I was on a two-stop, and then I ended-up not being able to, to maximise this stint, and I couldn't push as much as we should have pushed on that second stint. But at the end of the day, we gave it all. And that's what really matters.”
And added that their concerns over degradation made them wonder whether one-stop-strategy was the right one to choose for the race.
“We were discussing it at some points. But, yeah, I think we thought that the deg was going to be higher than it really is. And we just didn't push as much as we should have pushed on that second stint, and probably will left two seconds on the table there.”
Perez praised the team considering the rough start they had at the beginning of the season and how the manage to overturn it and make it into one of the most successful seasons they ever had.
“It's been… like Max said, how we started the first few races as a team, with the reliability issues that we had, to come away and have done such a strong job as a team, it's very encouraging. And I really hope that we can keep this momentum going for Red Bull, and come back next year even stronger. I believe that the competition will be a lot closer for next year. So, I really hope that we can keep this momentum going.”