Sergio Perez is just 15 points teammate Max Verstappen at Red Bull which means he is in the mix for fighting for the World Title.
Last year, Perez’s role at Red Bull was clear. He had to give his best in order to help Verstappen lift the first World Title and he performed spectacularly. The Mexican’s contribution had a huge role to play in Verstappen’s Title success.
This year however, things at the Austrian team seem different. Perez has gone off to a stellar start this year, and has gone toe to toe with his teammate in terms of performance. At the Monaco GP last week, he outqualified Verstappen and went on to win the race, his second with Red Bull.
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His win in Monaco led to people putting him in the Title battle, which up until then was a Leclerc-Verstappen affair. Perez is just six points away from Leclerc now. The entire F1 community seems happy to include Perez in a potential Title battle.
Verstappen’s father on the other hand, was not pleased with Red Bull. The former F1 driver felt that the Milton-Keynes outfit favored the 32-year old over this son.
Sergio Perez outqualifies Max Verstappen at the Azerbaijan GP
Perez continued his strong run into the Azerbaijan GP weekend. He once again outqualified Verstappen, and will start Sunday’s race from P2 behind Ferrari’s Leclerc.
His Dutch teammate will start the race from the second row in third, ahead of the other Ferrari of Carlos Sainz. This has really led to people wondering if Perez is matching or performing better than Verstappen this season.
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko insists that the relationship between the two drivers remains the same. Ahead of Friday’s FP1 session, the team addressed this situation and also discussed the comments made by Max’s father Jos Verstappen.
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“There was a bit of tension after Monte Carlo,” the 79-year old said. because Jos Verstappen, made some unfounded and offhand comments. On early Friday, we talked to both Perez and Max and then they both sat down to talk, so it’s all good.”
Team principal Christian Horner himself downplayed suggestions that the team was favoring Perez over Verstappen. “I think Jos is his own person isn’t he?” Horner said.
“It’s his own personality. So he’s obviously you know, got opinions. I think and that’s absolutely fine. That his opinion, the reality for us was obviously slightly different. So it’s no issue.”