After a disastrous Japanese Grand Prix for Sergio Perez, who had to retire after contact with Kevin Magnussen’s Haas, the Mexican suffered from the comparison with his team-mate Max Verstappen, who won at Suzuka to help his Red Bull team clinch this year’s constructors’ championship.
Sergio Perez’s behaviour at the Japanese Grand Prix has been the subject of much criticism on social media since Sunday, with some claiming that the Mexican was far too aggressive in his attempts to catch the rest of the field, earning him two penalties before he retired with damage to his car following a slightly over-enthusiastic attack on Kevin Magnussen’s Haas.
“Perez is the strongest driver in F1”
But while some are critical of Sergio Perez, others – like his father – are coming to the defence of a Red Bull driver condemned to perform at the wheel of a car built around Verstappen and with which Perez simply cannot feel comfortable.
Speaking to Mexican media outlet Esto.com on the eve of the Japanese Grand Prix won by Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez’s father came to his son’s defence, pointing out just how difficult it is to be the Dutchman’s team-mate at Red Bull:
“To date, the strongest driver in Formula 1 is Sergio Perez,” said Antonio Perez.
“He has a huge following all over the world and he’s the only driver from Latin America. Any brand in the world would be happy to have him.”
“There’s only room for 1 champ at Red Bull…”
“The position Checo Perez is in is the position he was hired for: second place, and there’s only room for one champion.”
“But his position is not the most comfortable because everything is built around Max [Verstappen] and he has to respect that. If Checo joined another team, he could be fourth or sixth like before.”
“When Checo was finishing tenth we were proud that he could score a point, and now he’s finishing second and we’re angry, we obviously want him to be first.”
“The car is suited to Max who likes to have all the grip at the front, whereas Checo prefers to have all the grip at the rear. So he has to drive a car that is made for Max,” added Perez Sr.
Ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix scheduled for 6-8 October in Doha, Sergio Perez is second in the drivers’ championship, 177 points behind team-mate Max Verstappen.
MORE F1 NEWS – Marko: “completely done with Perez”
Much has been written this season about the genius of Max Verstappen’s performances this season as he is set to claim the F1 drivers’ title in Qatar with a record number of Grand Prix remaining.
Yet unlike during the Mercedes era of dominance when more often than not their drivers came home in first and second place, much has been written about Sergio Perez inability to… READ MORE ON THIS ARTICLE