SAUDI ARABIA: Sergio Perez’s impressive performance in Jeddah last weekend, which saw him match the pace of Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen, may have caught the World Champion’s team off guard, according to F1 pundit Martin Brundle.
Sergio Perez led the race for most of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and maintained a five-second gap to Verstappen in the closing stages, matching the Dutchman’s faster lap times when the team instructed both drivers to drive at the same pace.
Although Verstappen took the bonus point for the fastest lap on the final lap, Perez’s speed was surprising, even to Verstappen’s support team.
Brundle explains that Perez matched his teammate Verstappen’s race pace and won the race on merit and in “fine style.”
Sergio Perez’s win was his fifth, with four of those on street circuits, but more importantly, it was his first when Verstappen finished second.
Brundle suggested that the team might have been surprised by Perez’s pace, given that Verstappen’s qualifying car issue prevented him from setting a new record of 16 victories in 21 races.
Verstappen’s father, Jos, made a sly dig at Sergio Perez by suggesting he doesn’t get the opportunity to fight for wins very often.
However, if Perez can continue to perform the same way as he did in Jeddah, there is no reason to suggest he cannot take the fight to his teammate more often this season.
Both drivers seem eager for the challenge of an in-team fight for glory this season, with Verstappen stating that the drivers were allowed to race. “The best one will finish in front,” he said.
When asked about his teammate’s claims, Perez said it would be “fantastic news” for the team since they would be far ahead of the rest of the field.
Although it may be too early to conclude what a title fight might look like, it is clear that Red Bull’s dominance in the first two rounds of the year means it could end up being an in-team battle for glory this season.
Also Read: Sergio Perez Wins Saudi Arabian GP Despite Max Verstappen’s Charge