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Perez must 'defend territory' to keep Red Bull spot

Perez must 'defend territory' to keep Red Bull spot

14-01-2023 19:25 Last update: 21:47
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GPblog.com

David Coulthard sees Sergio Perez facing a leaden season. Whereas the driver failed to make things difficult for Max Verstappen in the past two seasons, the former Formula 1 driver thinks he will have to show it in 2023. Otherwise, he may lose his place after this race year.

Indeed, with the bringing in of Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing has an experienced driver within the team. The Australian will serve as a reserve driver this year, but hopes to secure a permanent place again in 2024. Possibly this will be with the Austrian formation, which would mean a return.

Coulthard thinks Perez should therefore be careful. "Checo will look over his shoulder and see that there is a real reserve driver there," Coulthard told Balls.ie. "It does mean that Checo is going to need to keep a close eye on his health, his fitness, not pulling a sickie somewhere."

"When I was at McLaren I did nine years there - I did every test and never missed a race, even when I was getting out of the car and being sick. I knew the minute I let a test driver get in the car, it gave him an opportunity to show how good he was. You've got to defend your territory."

Perez shows progress

Last season, Perez performed better than in his first year, but it was not enough to secure second place in the world championship. Charles Leclerc finished ahead of the Mexican in the final race in Abu Dhabi, grabbing the position behind Verstappen.