Oct.6 (GMM) Sergio Perez shouldn’t be too downbeat about being easily defeated by his ultra-dominant Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen in 2023.
That is the view of Dr Helmut Marko, who said great drivers like Dutchman Verstappen always secure a clear upper-hand over their teammates.
“My father always said ‘You have to destroy your teammate’,” Verstappen said two years ago.
And according to Marko, that’s just what he did.
“(Ayrton) Senna’s teammates all went under as well,” he told Kronen Zeitung.
“Gerhard Berger can tell you a thing or two about that. Max is just a different beast. I only know of the older men like Alonso and Hamilton who could cope alongside him.”
Mexican Perez has a contract in place for 2024, but that hasn’t stopped speculation that he might not survive as Verstappen’s teammate for much longer.
Perez, 33, admits that he has been impressed by his soon-to-be triple world champion teammate.
“Max is capable of performing even with a car that is more difficult to drive, even in delicate conditions,” he told the Belgian broadcaster RTBF in Qatar.
“This commands respect, and I admire this aspect of his driving. He is able to put in an exceptional lap, regardless of the performance level of the car and even when things aren’t suiting him. That’s what makes him unique.
“He’s above everyone at the moment,” Perez admitted.
However, Perez insisted that there is also a positive side to driving the same car as Verstappen.
“Of course,” he said. “Being the teammate of one of the best drivers in the history of Formula 1 helps you develop.
“All of his teammates suffered, because as I said, he is extremely difficult to beat, no matter what the circumstances are. We all experience ups and downs, but it seems that he doesn’t.”