Former Renault F1 Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul has suggested a "cruel" Max Verstappen has 'broken' teammate Sergio Perez with his level of dominance.
The Dutchman wrapped up his third consecutive F1 title early - during the Sprint in Qatar - having broken numerous records this season, including most consecutive wins, most wins in a season and win percentage.
Perez had started in fine style with two victories and a win in the Azerbaijan Sprint across the first four weekends of the campaign but since settling for second to Verstappen in Miami after his teammate had started ninth on the grid, the Mexican has slumped with indifferent form, hindered by numerous incidents.
Despite the setbacks, Perez holds a healthy lead over Lewis Hamilton in the race for second in the Drivers' standings whilst Red Bull boasts more than double Mercedes' tally with 782 to 382.
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Red Bull 'impervious'
Red Bull has picked up the domination from where Mercedes left off after the Silver Arrows' eight-year stranglehold over the sport and speaking to Franceinfo, current Hyundai Motorsports Team Principal Abiteboul - who was involved in a spat with the Milton Keynes-based outfit's Team Principal Christian Horner when still in F1 - has commended his former rivals' performances.
"Mercedes' dominance was due to one element: the engine. It was exceptional," explained Abiteboul.
"Everyone has had their ups and downs, their moments of brilliance and their problems. But Red Bull has just walked on water.
"It's amazing because they seem impervious to all variables, be it wind, temperature or ground effect. That makes their dominance even more impressive.
"It's cruel. Verstappen is so strong that he is able to push a driver like Sergio Pérez, who has been through a lot, to the ground and break him.
"There is a lot of maturity from Red Bull and Max. I have the impression that he is much calmer."