ITALY: Sergio Perez has come forward to dismiss claims that his Red Bull teammate, Max Verstappen, is a bad loser.
In an interview on a podcast, Sergio Perez revealed that Verstappen has always been gracious in defeat, defying the reputation that precedes him.
Perez joined the Red Bull team in 2021 and played a crucial role in Verstappen’s maiden World Championship victory over Lewis Hamilton.
The Mexican driver’s stature has grown during his tenure with the team, securing wins in Monaco and Singapore in 2022, while Verstappen continued his dominance with a second consecutive crown.
The 2023 season has seen Sergio Perez make a good start, clinching victories in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan.
Currently sitting 14 points behind championship leader Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez has proven himself a formidable contender for the title.
Red Bull, the reigning constructors’ champion, also enjoys a significant advantage over Aston Martin, having won every race this season.
With the championship likely to be a showdown between the two Red Bull drivers, expectations regarding Perez’s ability to challenge his teammate have increased in the minds of his fans.
Despite Verstappen’s influential position within the team, having been promoted at a young age, Perez highlighted that the 25-year-old is not the sore loser social media often portrays him as.
“He’s a good loser, I’ll say,” says Perez. He adds that Verstappen has the reputation of being a bad loser and that whenever he defeats him, Verstappen congratulates him.
The tension between Verstappen and Perez intensified after the Monaco Grand Prix in 2022.
Verstappen’s father, former F1 driver Jos, criticised Red Bull for not doing enough to help his son move up the order.
There were implications that Verstappen’s refusal to swap positions with Perez in Brazil was a form of payback for the Monaco incident.
However, recent races have shown a shift in Verstappen’s demeanour. After Perez’s victory in Jeddah, Verstappen, despite facing setbacks in qualifying, expressed his satisfaction with a second-place finish and the valuable points gained.
In Baku, Verstappen even described his struggles in the race as a learning experience, signalling a growing understanding of his car’s capabilities.
As the championship battle unfolds, fans and pundits will continue to watch the dynamic between Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen, appreciating the skill and sportsmanship they bring to the sport.