Perez is looking to bounce back in France as he insists he is still in contention for the Championship

Despite trailing championship leader and team-mate Max Verstappen by 57 points, Sergio Perez is still aiming for overall glory in 2022. But, the Mexican driver admits he and his team can ill afford more DNFs, as he seeks to retaliate in France.

Perez was at one point 15 points behind Verstappen, having won the Monaco Grand Prix. But since then he has suffered two retirements in four races – including a DNF last time out in Austria. Looking ahead to the French GP, Perez said he was looking for a redeeming result.

“After a tough weekend in Austria, it’s great to be back and have a chance to put things back together,” Perez said. “We’ve had two DNFs in the last three races and we can’t afford that in the championships, so I’m aiming to change that this weekend in France. I’m still in contention for the drivers’ championship, so personally it is also important not to lose any more points.

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“Last year I scored my second podium with the French team, and I can’t wait to try to repeat it. Paul Ricard is a difficult track because there are different racing lines that you can take in turns and it’s not easy to know which is the best to use.

“The high temperatures will also be a factor this weekend. Physically it looks like it will be a very demanding race and we will have to see how that goes with the tire degradation due to the heat.”

His teammate Verstappen won the French Grand Prix last year after overtaking title rival Lewis Hamilton on the penultimate lap of the race. And the Dutch driver is eager to return to a track where he and the team have already enjoyed success, as he aims to improve the tire degradation issues that cost him victory in Austria.

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“We had a good result last year in France as a team,” said Verstappen. “The track has a lot of technical and high speed corners towards the end so it will be important to pay attention to the tyres, especially as the weekend is going to be very hot. I am looking forward to another week of racing where we can hopefully improve our performance in Austria and learn from our result last time out.

As Ferrari hopes to extend its three-game winning streak and Mercedes push forward with even more upgrades in France, Red Bull faces a stern test at Circuit Paul Ricard.

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