Sergio Perez enters COTA with a shot to give Red Bull Racing another 1-2 finish

Red Bull Perez
Clive Rose / Getty Images

One round after Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen wrapped up his second championship with his Japanese Grand Prix victory, the focus shifts to getting Sergio Perez a career-best points finish as Formula 1 comes to America for the second time this season for the 10th edition of the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas.

And the team enters with the momentum of a seven-race winning streak (along with questions about breaching a cost cap last year). Red Bull Racing teammates Perez and Verstappen have combined to win 14 of the first 18 races in the 2022 season.

Notably, Perez finished runner-up Oct. 9 in Suzuka, gaining three points over Charles Leclerc to ease into second place in the championship standings by a single point. It’s a position he wants to hold onto for the remainder of the season.

“It is really important and crucial (in the Americas races) to have two strong performances, one in Austin and one in Mexico,” Perez told NBC Sports this week via Zoom while he was visiting the ExxonMobil campus in Houston, Texas. “It would be great to get a lot of points in these next two races so we can go into the final two with a bit of buffer.”

Perez has finished second every time in Red Bull’s five 1-2 finishes this season: Imola, Barcelona, Azerbaijan, Belgium and Japan. The additional seven points awarded for first over second would come in handy in any of the four remaining races.

If history can repeat, Perez’s chances of gaining points at COTA are high.

Last year, he entered the United States Grand Prix fifth in the standings before rattling off back-to-back podium finishes in Texas and Mexico. One round later, he was fourth in the Brazilian Grand Prix with his sights set on a top three points performance. An accident in the Saudi Arabian GP and an oil pressure problem in Abu Dhabi denied him that finish, but he tied his previous career-best rank of fourth.

The lessons were not lost on Perez, who knows he needs to consistently outperform Ferrari’s Leclerc in the final four rounds of 2022. The good news is that his momentum from last year has the potential to dominate.

“I had two good races [last year],” Perez said. “I was on the podium on both of them, so I hope I’m able to get everything in place in the final four races. I want to finish it on a high note because I want to start proving we’re a contender for the championship.”

In 18 seasons, Red Bull scored five championships prior to 2022, including four consecutive by Sebastian Vettel (2010-13). Verstappen now has taken the last two, but the team still is seeking its first 1-2 sweep that would bring Red Bull to a new level.

“That would be amazing for the team,” Perez said. “It’s never been done in our history; it would be great to do it for the first time.”

And with Verstappen clinching the title, it’s time for the focus to shift to Perez.

“I expect to get much more support from everyone at the team, to try to get the maximum points for us.” Perez said. “Certainly, I think that if Max is in a position where he can support me, I believe that he will.”

There is not a lot of pressure on Perez for the moment. In May, Red Bull announced a contract extension through 2024 for the Mexican driver and now is the time to make good on that promise.

“It means a lot it’s a great moment for everyone,” Perez said. “We just have to make sure to carry that forward for the next few years.”

Saturday’s Supercross Round 11 in Seattle: How to watch, start times, schedules, streams


With three multiple winners now vying for the championship, the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series heads to Round 11 at Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington.

Chase Sexton earned his second victory of the season in Detroit when Aaron Plessinger fell on the final lap. Though he was penalized seven points for disobeying a flag, Sexton is third in the championship race. The Honda rider trails leader Cooper Webb (two victories) by 17 points, and defending series champion Eli Tomac (five wins) is three points behind Webb in second with seven races remaining.

Tomac won last year in Seattle on the way to his second season title.

Honda riders have a Supercross-leading 20 victories in the Seattle event but none at Lumen Field since Justin Barcia in 2013. Tomac and Barcia are the only past 450 Seattke winners entered in Saturday’s event.

Here are the pertinent details for watching Round 11 of the 2023 Supercross season in Seattle:

(All times are ET)

BROADCAST/STREAMING SCHEDULE: TV coverage of Round 11 will begin Saturday at 10 p.m. ET streaming on Peacock with a re-air Monday at 1 a.m. ET on CNBC. The Race Day Live show (including qualifying) will begin on Peacock at 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday.

NBC Sports will have exclusive live coverage of races, qualifiers and heats for the record 31 events in SuperMotocross. The main events will be presented on Peacock, NBC, USA Network, CNBC, and NBC Sports digital platforms.

Peacock will become the home of the SuperMotocross World Championship series in 2023 with live coverage of all races, qualifying, and heats from January to October. There will be 23 races livestreamed exclusively on Peacock, including a SuperMotocross World Championship Playoff event. The platform also will provide on-demand replays of every race. Click here for the full schedule.

POINTS STANDINGS: 450 division l 250 division

ENTRY LISTS450 division l 250 division

EVENT SCHEDULE (all times ET): 

Here are the start times for Saturday’s Supercross Round 11 in Seattle, according to the Monster Energy Supercross schedule from the AMA:

4:50 p.m.: 250SX Group B Qualifying 1
5:05 p.m.: 250SX Group A Qualifying 1
5:20 p.m.: 450SX Group A Qualifying 1
5:35 p.m.: 450SX Group B Qualifying 1
6:25 p.m.: 250SX Group B Qualifying 2
6:40 p.m.: 250SX Group A Qualifying 2
7:55 p.m.: 450SX Group A Qualifying 2
8:10 p.m.: 450SX Group B Qualifying 2
10:06 p.m.: 250SX Heat 1
10:20 p.m.: 250SX Heat 2
10:34 p.m.: 450SX Heat 1
10:48 p.m.: 450SX Heat 2
11:22 p.m.: 250SX Last Chance Qualifier
11:34 p.m.: 450SX Last Chance Qualifier
11:54 p.m.: 250SX Main Event
12:28 a.m.: 450SX Main Event

TRACK LAYOUTClick here to view the track map


FINAL 2022 STANDINGS: 450 points standings | 250 East points standings250 West points standings


ROUND 1: Eli Tomac opens title defense with victory

ROUND 2: Tomac ties Ricky Carmichael on Supercross wins list

ROUND 3: Tomac holds off Cooper Webb again

ROUND 4: Chase Sexton wins Anaheim Triple Crown

ROUND 5: Eli Tomac leads wire to wire in Houston

ROUND 6: Cooper Webb breaks through in Tampa

ROUND 7: Webb wins again in Arlington

ROUND 8: Tomac wins Daytona for the seventh time

ROUND 9: Ken Roczen scores first victory since 2022

ROUND 10: Chase Sexton inherits Detroit victory but docked points


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