Sergio Perez believes his "good relationship" with Max Verstappen and his Formula 1 fans is a key reason why he has been able to perform so well at Red Bull.
Perez was drafted into the team for the 2021 campaign after a standout '20 season with Racing Point (now Aston Martin), taking the spot of the underperforming Alex Albon.
The Mexican helped his teammate win the World Championship at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix by holding up Lewis Hamilton just after the two title rivals had made their pit-stops – allowing Verstappen to close in.
Perez has been a strong performer in 2022, taking five second place finishes and victory in the Monaco Grand Prix, as well as a maiden F1 pole position in Saudi Arabia.
And he thinks that having such a strong working and personal relationship with Verstappen is helping him, as the Dutch fans also root for him, while Red Bull themselves have raised Perez's public profile.
Perez on relationship with Verstappen
Verstappen is hugely popular in his home nation, with Grands Prix often packed with fans wearing orange or even bringing smoke flares in.
Support for Verstappen is also a reason why the Dutch Grand Prix was revived at Zandvoort, returning in 2021 – where he comfortably cruised to victory.
Speaking exclusively to RacingNews365.com, Perez explained how his relationship with Verstappen has proved beneficial.
"[The Dutch fans] are great to me everywhere I go," he explained.
"There are always Dutch fans around and they are normally very nice to me."
Perez continued: "[Max and I] have a very good [relationship]. We have a lot of respect for each other, are good workers and get along well out of the car.
"If anything happens, we straight away speak with each other. We have that level of trust and confidence within us.
"It is not important to [get along with a teammate], but it is [an] ideal scenario."
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Red Bull have increased Perez's profile
Prior to signing with Red Bull, Perez's career had been spent in the midfield, sniping at occasional podiums with Sauber and Force India/Racing Point.
He did spend 2013 with McLaren – just as that team was beginning its long slide to the F1 doldrums.
Perez added that driving for a worldwide brand such as Red Bull has massively helped him off the track.
"Red Bull certainly has the biggest fan engagement of all the teams," he explained.
"Driving for a brand like Red Bull has definitely increased my profile a lot [outside Mexico and F1]."
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