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Brundle: 'Team Verstappen' were surprised by Perez pace

Ex-F1 driver Martin Brundle believes that those on the Max Verstappen side of the Red Bull garage were surprised by the pace demonstrated by Sergio Perez at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Pundit and ex-Formula 1 driver Martin Brundle suspects that those who are part of 'team Max Verstappen' would have been surprised by the race pace of Sergio Perez. Max Verstappen's attempts to secure race victory from P15 were denied by strong race pace from Sergio Perez, who managed to maintain a healthy lead over the Dutchman. Once the reigning World Champion moved up into second place, he was unable to make much ground into the five-second lead held by Perez in the closing laps of the race, albeit with both cars nursing potential car troubles. Speaking in his column for Sky Sports , Brundle admitted that Verstappen's qualifying issues gave fans 'something to look forward to' for the Jeddah race. "In the end, it was another show of total domination by Red Bull in Jeddah," Brundle commented in his column for Sky Sports . "I have to be honest and say that when Max Verstappen had a driveshaft problem in qualifying meaning that he would start 15th on the grid, I was quietly pleased, relieved, and energised. "Nothing against Max and his incredible talent, but at least we would have something to look forward to on race day."

Verstappen camp surprised by Perez pace?

Verstappen's qualifying issue prompted thoughts that the Red Bull driver would be able to replicate his remarkable victory at the 2022 Belgian GP, where he climbed from P14 on the grid to register a comfortable win. However, Brundle suspects that those in the Verstappen camp were surprised that Perez was able to replicate the pace from Verstappen in the closing stages of the race. "Perez out front matched whatever his team-mate Verstappen could muster speed-wise and duly won the race in fine style," added Brundle. "Verstappen stole the fastest lap championship point on the final tour and that clearly annoyed Perez, who was surprised the team didn't call off the fight when they had a one-two easily in the bag and he was suffering with a longer brake pedal, and unbeknown to him, Max was feeling a vibration in his transmission. "Team Verstappen were perhaps surprised that Perez could match their pace, and they were no doubt annoyed that it was ultimately the qualifying car issue which prevented Max setting a new record of 16 victories in 21 races."

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