Checo Perez poised for another podium finish at 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Perez aims for another top finish in Baku, showcasing his street circuit skills and solidifying his position as a championship contender.

Sergio Checo Perez is preparing for a new battle in Formula 1 with the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. After almost a month of hiatus, the Mexican driver will return to the activity in one of the circuits where he has historically performed better. He has accumulated a victory and a second place in the last two years alone.

However, Checo‘s positive track record at the Baku street circuit goes back to 2016, when the race in Azeri territory was held under the name of the European Grand Prix (an event in the calendar that changed its venue every year). He got on the podium with Force India as a team, just behind Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel.

The only negative precedent dates back to the 2017 edition when he had to abandon the race after a collision. On that occasion, Perez was in fourth position when a poorly achieved battle with his teammate, Frenchman Esteban Ocon, forced him to retire.

Formula One F1 - Azerbaijan Grand Prix - Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan - June 12, 2022 Red Bull's Sergio Perez celebrates on the podium after finishing second in the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed
Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 12, 2022, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez celebrates on the podium after finishing second in the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed.

Therefore, had the Mexican driver not retired, his results in Azerbaijan would have been within five positions of each other, with victory as the best result and fifth place as the worst. Now identified as a specialist in street circuits and aboard Reb Bull Racing’s RB19, the development of the next edition is expected to be among the first three positions.

Results of checo perez in baku:

  • Azerbaijan 2022: Second position, with Red Bull Racing (fastest lap).
  • Azerbaijan 2021: First position, with Red Bull Racing.
  • Azerbaijan 2019: Fifth position, with Racing Point.
  • Azerbaijan 2018: Third position, with Force India.
  • Azerbaijan 2017: Retired due to collision with Force India.
  • European GP (Azerbaijan edition) 2016: Third position, with Force India.

To Baku, Checo Perez will arrive as one of the favorite drivers to take the victory alongside his teammate and reigning two-time world champion Max Verstappen. Spaniard Fernando Alonso also looks like one of the most outstanding competitors, but the expectation revolves around what the Mexican and the Dutchman can demonstrate.

Jun 10, 2022 
Foto del viernes del Red Bull de Sergio Perez en la primer práctica para el GP de Azerbaiyán de la F1 
 REUTERS/Murad Sezer
Jun 10, 2022, Friday photo of Sergio Perez’s Red Bull in first practice for the F1 Azerbaijan GP REUTERS/Murad Sezer

The start of the 2023 season has been a dream start for the Jalisco-born driver, the best of his career. In his third year as part of Red Bull Racing, Perez is at the point of most incredible ease, maturity, and the possibility of being champion closer than ever. But even with that, the goal of winning is hampered by Verstappen’s performance, which so far is unmatched.

After three dates on the calendar, Checo accumulates 54 points due to a first, a second, and a fifth place. This has allowed him to place second in the Drivers’ Championship, just behind the Dutchman, who leads him by 15 points.

“Of course (wanting to be champion), if I want to win the championship, I have to beat Max weekend after weekend and maintain this level of consistency. (…) It’s about the consistency of the season. You can win 15 races, but if you crash and don’t finish in the other races, it won’t be enough,” commented the Mexican during the Australian Grand Prix.