Red Bull driver boss Helmut Marko has doubts over whether Sergio Perez has the ability to challenge Max Verstappen for the 2023 Formula 1 title.
In their second season together in 2022, Verstappen dominated the campaign by claiming 15 wins, setting a new all-time season record while also hauling a record-breaking number of points.
Perez meanwhile won twice - in Monaco and Singapore - and was just pipped to second place in the standings by Charles Leclerc of Ferrari in the Abu Dhabi finale.
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Marko: I don't think anybody can challenge Verstappen
Despite completing his best ever season in F1statistically, Marko is unsure whether Perez can push on and challenge Verstappen, who will be seeking a third world title in 2023.
"Checo can certainly win a race or two," Marko explained to Bild.
"But at the moment I don't see that he can challenge Max for a whole season.
"In general, I don't see that anyone can currently do this."
The Austrian veteran also outlined exactly where Red Bull need to improve in 2023, despite coming off the back of their strongest ever season in F1.
"We want to be similarly dominant in 2023, and even if it is very difficult, there is always room for improvement," Marko added.
"[There are] improvements in terms of reliability.
"In the first three races, we retired three times due to technical defects (Verstappen in Bahrain and Australia and Perez in the former).
"In Brazil, the set-up wasn't right, [so although] we had an exceptional season, not everything was perfect.
"We still need a perfect day to beat Mercedes and Ferrari."
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