RACING

Canadian GP: Red Bull is “sensitive” to competition with Max Verstappen, says Sergio Perez

ADVERTISEMENT

“I just want to do the maximum for myself. I am in this championship and I want to win it but I am also aware that we have to take care of the team. So far the team has been very sensitive to everything. they did.” – Sergio Perez; watch the Canadian GP live on Sky Sports

Last update: 06/17/22 23:26

ADVERTISEMENT


Sergio Perez recognizes both his own ambitions and those of the team

Sergio Perez says Red Bull are “sensitive” when it comes to the fight between him and teammate Max Verstappen.

The Mexican driver, who according to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is currently in the “shape of his life”, sits second in the drivers’ championship behind Verstappen.

With just 21 points separating the two and Red Bull leading the way, the spotlight on driver rivalry and team strategy intensifies.

Perez knows he is performing well, but also recognizes that team position is of paramount importance.

“I just want to do the maximum for me. I’m in this championship and I want to win it but I’m also aware that we have to take care of the team,” Perez told Sky Sports F1 to Montreal.

“So far the team has been very responsive in everything they have done.

A look back at the highlights of the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona

Please use Chrome browser for more accessible video player

A look back at the highlights of the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona

A look back at the highlights of the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona

“At Barcelona we didn’t agree,” Perez continued. “We spoke to each other after the race, and we agreed immediately. We could see that the change had already been made for Monaco.

“That’s why I’m super happy, I recently renewed in the team. Things are going in the right direction and my role to play is to try to get the championship.”

At the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Perez was upset to let Verstappen through early on and not get the favor back. Then in the dying moments, with the Mexican leading the race, he was told not to hold Verstappen back.

A look back at the best of the Monaco Grand Prix action

Please use Chrome browser for more accessible video player

A look back at the best of the Monaco Grand Prix action

A look back at the best of the Monaco Grand Prix action

The following weekend in Monaco, Perez won his first race of the season but the team’s approach was criticized by Jos Verstappen, before Horner put that aside.

“Dads and dads are never totally objective,” Horner said. “What wasn’t apparent was all the information we had during a race. If Max had pitted he would have come out behind, I think, George (Russell) at the time.

“Jos is his own person and his own personality. He has opinions and that’s fine, that’s his opinion. The reality for us was obviously slightly different…that’s no problem.”

Perez’s team boss then went on to clarify the team’s current position regarding race strategy. He insisted that if Perez overqualified his team-mate – as he did in Monaco – he would get the first call during the race.

“The #1 driver is the driver in front, it’s as simple as that,” said Horner. “That’s why Checo got the call during the pit stop, Max wouldn’t even have had track position for example on that lap.

“But, our fight is not between the two drivers, we have a very competitive Ferrari with two fast drivers in it.

“Collectively, as a team, we have to fight and rise to the challenge of Ferrari, who seem very fast this year. »

Throwback to the Azerbaijan GP from the Baku circuit

Please use Chrome browser for more accessible video player

Throwback to the Azerbaijan GP from the Baku circuit

Throwback to the Azerbaijan GP from the Baku circuit

In Baku, the team’s “no fight” orders were relayed to Perez via team radio, which Horner said was just to avoid a repeat of 2018 when the two Red Bull drivers – Daniel Ricciardo and Verstappen – had a heavy collision.

“We spoke in the morning before the race and said if you find yourself racing then give yourself space and respect the team. That’s why we just reminded Checo not to to fight.”

Perez said he didn’t need to have the conversation because “it was clear” and Max was quicker.

We have very open communication; we have a good relationship. He wants to win and I want to win, at the end of the day we have a lot of respect for each other. If there’s something, we don’t need the team to tell us what to do, we’re both mature enough to know what’s right and what’s wrong.

Sergio Perez on his teammate Max Verstappen

Signing his new contract to stay at Red Bull, Perez feels a greater ‘stability’ and that should allow him to try to achieve his ultimate goal.

“I’m in a privileged position. I’m here because I want to win, I’ve been in the sport for so many years, right now I just want to win.

“I have a great opportunity and I appreciate the preparation, because with a team like Red Bull we have a lot of fun, but above all it’s about winning.

“The combination of the two [fun and winning], I couldn’t find it anywhere else. That’s why I’m very happy with the team.”

Horner: There’s a healthy respect

The two Red Bull drivers lead the Drivers' Championship standings

The two Red Bull drivers lead the Drivers’ Championship standings

With the season now having moved to Montreal, Red Bull boss Horner reiterated that both drivers recognize the challenge facing the team this season.

“There is a healthy respect between the two drivers,” he said. “They actually like each other, which helps, if it lasts, we’ll see!

“They recognize that the work they do for the team is more important than certain interests at the moment, we’ll see if it stays that way. They push each other and get the best out of each other.

“As long as they are respectful to each other [they can compete on track]what you don’t want to do is see one put the other into a wall or something.

“Things can change so quickly; at the moment it’s all about widening that gap and maintaining it to Ferrari. The drivers have done a great job so far this year and we just have to keep that momentum going. “

ADVERTISEMENT