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Sergio Perez had a career year in the 2022 Formula 1 season, his second with Red Bull, and signing an extension early certainly helped.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has already secured a second straight Formula 1 world championship this season, with four races remaining on the 2022 22-race calendar, but the Milton Keynes-based team still have to battle through the final four races of the season.

His teammate Sergio Perez is second in the driver rankingjust a point ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, and has a chance of completing Red Bull’s first-ever double in the standings.

His career-best results in the standings are fourth-place efforts of 2020 when still with Racing Point and 2021 when he was in his first season with Red Bull.

One of the keys to Sergio Perez’s success this season has been the fact that his future has long been solidified.

At the end of 2020, he didn’t even know if he would be on the Formula 1 grid in 2021, and although he landed a ride with Red Bull, his contract was not extended until 2022 until the end of summer 2021. This year he signed a new deal – a multi-year extension – in the spring.

Perez said the fact that he signed a new contract so early in the season was a bit of a weight off his shoulders, as it allowed him to focus strictly on performance behind the wheel of the car.

“In a way, it certainly was,” Perez said. beyond the flag. “It was huge to get this deal done early enough to not waste energy on it.”

Although it was not officially announced at the time, Perez apparently agreed to the new contract ahead of his wet victory at the Monaco Grand Prix in May, when he appeared to tell team principal Christian Horner he had ‘signed too soon’ at the podium ceremony.

He has since added another victory, and that victory also came in a soggy street race. He led every lap of the Singapore Grand Prix in early October.

Unsurprisingly, he feels like as strong a rain rider as he has ever been, but he was quick to credit the team for the two wins.

“Certainly,” he said. “Certainly in that regard it was important to keep that momentum going. I think both races were great in terms of strategic calls. The way we were able to get the right calls was really good.

While many have called his Singapore Grand Prix his best performance in a Formula 1 car, Sergio Perez is impatient.

“I still believe my next win will be even better,” he said. “Singapore has certainly been very nice, but I’m really looking forward to seeing more in these upcoming races.”

Perez was instrumental in making the RB18 the most successful car Red Bull – and technical director Adrian Newey – have ever produced, but it didn’t come easy.

“Certainly working throughout with the time that we had, with the number of hours that we had to invest in, that was really crucial and important to make sure we had the right package in the car, that we could exploit the most of that,” he explained. “That was really important.”

While his obvious goal is to finish the season second in the drivers’ standings, he wants to do so by winning the four remaining races on the calendar.

“I want to win the next four races,” he said. “It’s my way of thinking. I want to go out there and get the most out of these next four races.

The final four races of the season include the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas (Sunday October 23), the Mexico City Grand Prix at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez (Sunday October 30), the Sao Paulo Grand Prix on the Interlagos circuit (Sunday 23 13 November) and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit (Sunday 20 November).

Of course, if he had to choose one to win, it would be the Mexico City Grand Prix.

In six career starts on the 17-turn, 2.674-mile (4.303-kilometer) road course in Mexico City, Mexico, the 32-year-old Mexican holds a third-place finish in his first season with Red Bull. .

“Yeah, that would be a huge dream for me!” he remarked.

While Red Bull has all but locked down the constructors championshipwhich would be their first since 2013, Perez’s attention has yet to turn to 2023.

“Not at all yet,” he admitted. “I want to finish the season strong. It’s very important for me and our engineering group to finish the season strong and start 2023 really, really strong.