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Red Bull Racing

How Perez stacks up against previous Verstappen F1 teammates

Sergio Perez is the fifth teammate Max Verstappen has had in Formula 1, but how exactly does he stack up against the previous four?

Perez Verstappen
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Every so often, one of the generational talents comes along in Formula 1 and manages to work themselves into the best team and best car as they set about re-writing the record books.

Perhaps the most famous examples of this are Michael Schumacher at Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes but we can now add Max Verstappen and Red Bull to the list.

It can be something of a poisoned chalice to be the teammate to these championship-winning drivers, with Sergio Perez the man tackled with going up against Verstappen in the same car.

Perez is set to begin his third season alongside the Dutchman, and is the fifth teammate the two-time World Champion has had during his time in F1 since 2015.

How does Perez stack up against the previous four drivers to go head-to-head with Verstappen?

Verstappen vs Sainz

Verstappen's first F1 teammate was Carlos Sainz at Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri) back in 2015 and early 2016.

The two teenagers were evenly matched during his 23 race spell together, with Sainz even out-qualifying Verstappen 10-9 across their only full-season.

Only reliability concerns on Sainz's side of the garage prevented an equal match across races, where Verstappen hauled a pair of fourth places in Hungary and the United States.

Tensions in the camp between the two, coupled with Danill Kvyat's early 2016 troubles meant Verstappen was swapped with the Russian before the Spanish Grand Prix.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Verstappen vs Sainz

Max Verstappen Carlos Sainz
Points 62 20
Wins 0 0
Podiums 0 0
Best qualifying result 6th 5th
Best race result 4th 7th
Best championship position 12th - 2015 15th - 2015
			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Verstappen's best teammate?

In terms of the stats, it is Daniel Ricciardo who is the best teammate Verstappen has come up against in F1.

During their almost three seasons together, Ricciardo and Verstappen were evenly matched, with the latter just ahead in wins - five to four - but behind on overall points scored 626-621.

This was a time when Verstappen was going through growing pains, but still managed to force Ricciardo into departing at the end of 2018 amid doubts of the Honda engine the team would run in '19 and the feeling that the team was gravitating towards the Dutch side of the garage.

Ricciardo is also the only teammate to have directly beaten Verstappen in combat for a race win - edging him out in Malaysia 2016 to hold second, moments before Hamilton's leading Mercedes engine exploded, allowing the Red Bull's to inherit a one-two.

After four seasons away, Ricciardo returns as a third driver in 2023, shadowing Verstappen following unsuccessful spells at Renault and McLaren.

Verstappen vs Ricciardo

Max Verstappen Daniel Ricciardo
Points 621 626
Wins 5 4
Podiums 22 19
Best qualifying result 2nd 1st
Best race result 1st 1st
Best championship position 4th - 2018 3rd - 2016
			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Gasly and Albon both struggle

Following Ricciardo's shock departure to Renault for 2019, Pierre Gasly was promoted to the senior Red Bull team from Toro Rosso - albeit a year too soon in the words of boss Christian Horner.

The Frenchman struggled to adapt to the RB15, including a big pre-season testing crash, as he could not make a breakthrough, instead believing there to be problems with the car.

His below-par race performances resulted in a switch with rookie Alex Albon - Gasly's replacement at Toro Rosso - for the Belgian GP.

Despite a promising start at the end of 2019, Albon could not kick on during 2020, although he did score two podium finishes at Mugello and in Bahrain.

This lack of performance meant Red Bull were handed a difficult choice when Perez came on the market at the end of 2020 - with the Mexican ultimately getting the nod.

Verstappen vs Gasly vs Albon

Max Verstappen Pierre Gasly Alex Albon
Points 181 (Gasly), 311 (Albon) 63 181
Wins 5 (both) 0 0
Podiums 20 (both) 0 2
Best qualifying result 1st 4th 4th
Best race result 1st 4th 3rd
Best championship position 3rd (both) N/A 7th - 2020
			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Incumbent Perez

In terms of race wins, Perez is the only driver after Ricciardo to have won a Grand Prix with Verstappen in the other car - although Ricciardo has four to Perez's three.

He also played a crucial part in delivering Verstappen's maiden title in 2021, by holding up Hamilton in Abu Dhabi that eroded the near 10 second gap between the Mercedes and Red Bull rivals.

It meant that Hamilton could not pit under the late safety car for fresh tyres while Verstappen could...

After struggling at times in 2021, Perez was back on form in '22, taking a maiden career pole in Saudi Arabia and stunning wins in Monaco and Singapore as he banked a career-best tally of 11 podiums.

The only trouble was that Verstappen was embarking on the most dominant season in F1 history, with 15 wins to Perez's two.

There was some needle between the two, with Verstappen allegedly believing that Perez crashed deliberately in Monaco qualifying - and subsequently paid him back months later by refusing to let him past in Brazil despite team orders to do so.

In the end, it didn't matter, as the extra two points Perez would have received for sixth place would have still meant he finished one point behind Charles Leclerc in the fight for a distant second place in the Drivers.'

Verstappen and Perez

Max Verstappen Sergio Perez
Points 849.5 495
Wins 25 3
Podiums 35 16
Best qualifying 1st 1st
Best race 1st 1st
Best championship position 1st - 2021, 2022 3rd - 2022

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