Max Verstappen Vs Sergio Perez Battle Gets Intense on Team Radio as Red Bull Pair Argues Over Fastest Lap Point

Vidit Dhawan
|Published 19/03/2023

Red Bull has had an outstanding start to the F1 2023 season as they clinched an outstanding 1-2 in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Max Verstappen won the Bahrain GP, with Sergio Perez finishing in second. In Saudi Arabia, Perez fought back to grab the victory, with Verstappen finishing second.

Considering the staggering advantage that Red Bull has compared to other teams, the 2023 season is expected to be a Verstappen vs Perez battle for the championship. A point just separates the two drivers after the Saudi Arabian GP after Verstappen clinched the fastest lap right at the end of the race.

Since it was a straight two-way fight between the both of them for most of the race, Verstappen and Perez seemed to have a heated argument over the team radio. Thus, both drivers seem to be in no mood to give the other an inch this season.

Verstappen vs Perez battle takes to the radio

The Verstappen vs Perez battle began on the team radio when the Mexican driver’s engineer asked him to ease off while he was in the race’s lead. In reply, Perez immediately asked his engineer what lap time Verstappen was putting in.

When Perez realized that Verstappen was not going any slower, he once again asked his engineer if the two were racing again. The engineer told the 33-year-old that he was free to push.

A few laps later, it was Verstappen’s turn on the radio. The Dutchman was curious about what was the fastest lap time. Since Perez had registered the race’s quickest lap, Verstappen’s engineer told him that the fastest lap was not of concern to the team.

However, Verstappen was quick to highlight that it was of concern to him though. And as it happened, the 25-year-old registered the fastest lap of the race on the last lap. In the process, he got the extra point and kept the lead in the championship.

As things stand, Verstappen currently leads the Drivers’ Championship by one point from Perez after both drivers have got identical results after the first two races. Verstappen is only ahead of Perez because of his extra fastest lap point.

George Russell replaces Fernando Alonso on the podium

While the two Red Bull Racing cars of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were way clear at the front, the battle for the final podium spot was tight. Although third-placed Fernando Alonso had over a 5-second gap over fourth-placed George Russell, he was always at threat of facing a penalty.

And as it so happened, Alonso did get a 10-second penalty right at the end, thereby promoting Russell up to third. The Spaniard was penalized for incorrectly serving his previous 5-second penalty for his incorrect starting grid position.

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About the author
Vidit Dhawan

Vidit Dhawan

Vidit Dhawan is an F1 writer at The SportsRush. He fell in love with the sport at first sight when F1 visited India in 2011. The noise and the racing action from lights out and away we go to the chequered flag are what keeps him at the edge of his seat at all times. Vidit has been a lifelong Fernando Alonso fan and sees Charles Leclerc as the future of the sport. Other than F1, he also follows football and tennis closely.

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