Verstappen shocker

Red Bull team mate to Max Verstappen is certainly in captivating form, well for Baku and perhaps Jeddah, but how will the Dutchman deal with his Mexican partner Sergio Perez?

The title in the new Formula 1 season can only be won by Red Bull Racing, that much is already certain. The only real threat to double world champion Max Verstappen comes from his own team-mate, who is off to the best start of his career. Is Sergio Perez turning into a Verstappen terror, ready to cause a shock within the Milton Keynes outfit?

Perez: Fast learner

It could be said that Sergio Perez is a fast learner, and has already mastered the easy trash talk, the tickling of the competition in the press. After his success in Azerbaijan, he explained that Max Verstappen had indeed “pushed”“But I had him under control,” the Mexican added in a confident way.

So much for formula boredom. In motorsport’s ‘pinnacle’, everything is set for an intra-team sizzling duel not seen since the Hamilton-Rosberg clash in the middle of the last decade.

It is no exaggeration to write that Sergio Perez had to wait 33 years to mature into the best Perez in Formula 1 history, certainly if the beginning of this season continues to carry on in the same manner. Now that he has reached his preliminary career best, he wants more.


More obviously means the World Championship. The conditions are not so bad either…

“The performance curve is still going up. He is a well-rested, savvy guy with the crazy belief that he can throw everything in to become world champion,” analyses German reporter Felix Görner.

“The Mexican temperament also plays a role, he is an indomitable person who does not like to be subordinated. That also means: he will try everything to beat Verstappen.”


Red Bull is in a league of its own

Red Bull Racing’s Formula One team is currently worlds ahead of the competition. Ferrari is again failing to live up to the traditionally over-high expectations of the tifosi this year, Mercedes has so far failed to close the big gap from last year and Aston Martin is just happy to have made a huge leap to the top of the midfield. After the first four race weekends, the early season quote is grim for the competition:

The “bulls” are once again chasing everyone.

Nevertheless, the situation offers a lot of potential for conflict. For defending champion Verstappen is not driving towards a possible world championship triple without opposition. The ambitious Dutchman is threatened with massive adversity in the championship battle by his team-mate, of all people.


MORE NEWS: Verstappen calls on team for a review




Perez is more self-confident than ever after his excellent start to the new season with two Grand Prix victories and has already set himself a World Championship motto:

“Of course I want to win the title – but Max wants that too. It will probably be the motto for the rest of the season…”

After the first four races he has already collected as many victories (2) as in the whole of last season. In Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan, the Mexican saw the chequered flag first. Last weekend in Baku, Perez managed to pull off the double with a GP and sprint victory.

The other two Grands Prix were also bulls’ prey: Verstappen won in Bahrain and Australia. So the garage neighbours are almost eye-to-eye at the top. Only six points separate front-runner Verstappen (93) from his challenger (87). There was praise even from Verstappen.

“Checo is showing really strong performances so far, he feels good and confident in the car,” said the 25-year-old. But the calm is deceptive.



While the racing team deliberately does not issue a stable order and stresses that both drivers have equal rights.

“We let them drive,” said team consultant Helmut Marko energetically. And so far the team officials are also watching with relish the RB demonstration of power by their drivers. Instead of a team order, the motto is: “Free racing for all!”

At least as long as the team’s gap to the competition remains so big.

The big Formula 1 question is: Can Perez really threaten the dominator Verstappen over the long haul and even dethrone him? Individual pinpricks like last year are not enough; so far the Mexican has lacked consistency over a complete season.


MORE F1 NEW: Hamilton counters critics


“The best Perez ever”.

For long-time F1 reporter Felix Görner, the chances for the challenger this year are “better than ever”.

The German reporters headline is topical and interesting – “The water carrier takes a liking to champagne”.

“What is certain, however, is that Perez has the confidence to win the world championship even against Verstappen. At the age of 33, ‘Checo’ Pérez currently has the greatest self-confidence and the best car of his career.

“In addition, he has developed into the best Pérez of all time over the past few years. You can see that in the best start to the season of his career,” explains Görner.


In Pérez’s favour is above all his good performance on tight city circuits like in Baku.

“There are eight street circuits in 23 races this season: and on those courses Pérez has a better record against Verstappen. You’ve seen that now in Baku,” said Görner. Good news for Perez: the next race in Miami is also a tighter course around a stadium and after a stopover in Emilia-Romagn

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