Sergio Pérez, king of the street circuits, is determined to keep his crown in Monaco
One year after his victory in the principality, the Mexican returns on Sunday with a new status.
Steep streets and safety rails closer to the track along the harbour, welcome to Monaco’s iconic circuit, located right in the heart of the city. In F1, the street circuit specialist is called Sergio Pérez. The Mexican arrives on Sunday 28 May in the Principality with the status of defending champion.
Monaco, a street that suits him
With five wins in as many Grands Prix this season, Red Bull is keeping the debates low. If Max Verstappen won three, his teammate won the other two at Jeddah and Baku, the two street circuits. City races have become Sergio Pérez’s specialty and the statistics prove it. Of his 29 career podiums, 34% have been on this type of circuit and of his six F1 victories, five have been in the city. The last one? Baku, April 30, where the pilot recognized a certain ease. “I’ve always liked this place, it’s true, he admitted after the race. It’s a track that fits my style well and has helped me shine a little more than anywhere else.” A route which, as in Monaco, has the particularity of being narrow and not very visible in the hairpin bends. On the circuit of the principality, the coating is more imperfect than in other classic circuits, which “Checo” does not mind.
“He is a driver who has a very big commitment. He knows very well how to get out of these delicate situations, conditions that are not necessarily optimal for urban circuits ”. analyzes Cyril Abiteboul, former Renault team principal.
“He’s someone who has very good judgment to find the limit of an acceptable risk-taking because excessive risk is eliminatory in Monaco.Cyril Abiteboul
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Without a drop zone, one of the particularities of the Monaco circuit, the slightest mistake is fatal. “You need the combination of a slightly more difficult car to drive with risk-taking that must always be optimal”. adds the former French team boss.
At his former team, Force India, which later became Racing Point, Sergio Pérez had already shown his adaptability by taking his first Formula 1 victory at Sakhir in December 2020. “He didn’t have a simple car but it was a team in which Pérez excelled and not only on street circuits”, recalls Cyril Abiteboul.
A driver with full confidence in Red Bull
Sergio Pérez has never been so strong this year. With a more powerful Red Bull than the others, the second in the championship is full of confidence. “Confidence is many things, in Monaco it is more important than in any other Grand Prix because the circuit is very short and the gaps are extremely small”, deciphers Cyril Abiteboul. Sergio Perez will be among the favourites, on Sunday. But in Monaco more than anywhere else, everything is decided on Saturday. “To win in Monaco you have to qualify up front because it’s very difficult to overtake in the race at this circuit.”explains the French engineer.
With the best car in the paddock and his flair for urban racing, the Mexican has every chance to shine again on the tricky Monaco track. And, why not, challenge his teammate Max Verstappen for the world title.