Sergio Perez claimed former team environment was ‘like being with a wife you will divorce’

Sergio Perez extends contract with Red Bull Racing until 2024

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Sergio Perez, 32, races in Canada today as he seeks to capitalise on his second-place finish at last week’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The Mexican driver is in the hunt to make up ground on his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen, who sits first in the 2022 standings and was victorious in Baku. The Azerbaijan GP saw Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc pushed back into third in the overall standings.

It came after he failed to finish due to an engine failure in his car, marking his second retirement in three races.

Perez’s latest race comes after Red Bull decided to retain him alongside Verstappen last summer.

The driver signed for the team in December 2020, just months after he was let go by Racing Point – now Aston Martin – before the season had ended.

Following the announcement of his shock departure, Perez revealed that it was “like being with a wife you will divorce”, knowing that he still had to race for the team.

Speaking to Channel 4 a month after the announcement, he said: “It’s really strange.

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“It’s like being with a wife that you already know in two months’ time you’re going to get divorced.”

However, the driver also admitted that he was not too angry at his exit and understood “it is just part of the game”.

He continued: “I’ve been here for so many years before and in similar positions, different positions, it’s just part of the game.

“I come here, I do my job on-track and off-track, I have to make sure that I deliver 100 percent.

“This team has been tremendous to me. We’ve been together for seven years, I have a lot of friends here.

“So, I just want to finish my career with them on a high and [make sure] that we always remember our time with a lot of pride.”

The driver was also asked about whether the situation had made him question if he wanted to remain in the sport in the future.

He said: “Being in this situation you give it a thought, it’s also a possibility, so I’m really relaxed on what comes up.

“I feel that I’ve been in a really fortunate position as well to have a career in Formula 1. These days it’s extremely difficult and I’m proud of that.

“I obviously want to carry on, I’m so hungry, I feel that I’m at the peak of my career, that my next years are going to be the best.

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“But I need to be able to find something extremely good to be able to keep going.”

Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer, who also left the team this year, paid tribute to the driver, who is nicknamed ‘Checo’.

He said: “Checo has been part of the Silverstone family for seven years and in that time has become one of the most complete drivers on the grid.

“Blisteringly quick on Saturday and Sunday, he’s established his reputation as a tenacious racer and together we have enjoyed some fantastic moments.

“If there was ever a sniff of a podium, Checo was ready to pounce, and those five podiums represent some of the finest days in the history of this team.

“Outside of the car, Checo is a true character and a good friend, and it’s been a pleasure working with him for such a long time.

“Although we will say goodbye at the end of the year, there are still nine races to go and plenty of opportunities for Checo to make some more special memories with this team.”

Build-up to the Canadian Grand Prix will be shown on Sky Sports F1 from 5.30pm this afternoon.

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