The Dutchman claimed his maiden Drivers’ Championship in 2021 ahead of seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, controversially able to pass the Mercedes driver in the final corners of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after the intervention of race director Michael Masi.
Perez also played a key role in enabling the 24-year-old to snatch victory, holding up Hamilton midway through the race to allow Verstappen to recover lost ground.
The Mexican had a mixed season, winning the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after both of the eventual title rivals ran into trouble, but otherwise largely failing to challenge.
Perez is targeting improvement in 2022, but hailed the achievements of teammate Verstappen.
“He was really good, he was really at one with the car,” said Perez of the Dutchman’s performance.
“He is very good in qualifying, he is very good at the races, he is very complete. The season he has done, it has been legendary, really impressive.
“Big credit to him, he is really at one with the car. I have to raise my game for 2022 and hopefully we are all able to go forwards.”
Perez enters his second season at Red Bull with a Grand Prix victory in each of the last two seasons, and admits that the world title remains his “biggest dream.”
The 2022 season begins in Bahrain in March.
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