Sergio Perez has spoken out about the relationship between himself and Max Verstappen, amid the recent tensions within the team at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
The Mexican was leading the race and told to manage his pace by the team, with Verstappen told the same while nursing a potential reliability problem.
The Dutchman initially backed off when he realised he could not catch Perez, but subsequently went on to set the fastest lap of the race to stop his teammate from coming out of the race leading the championship.
Perez was asked if he is prepared handle any tensions within the team with Verstappen, given his teammates determination to win at all costs.
"To be honest, we have a lot more respect for each other than than people might think out there," he told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"There is a great atmosphere with the team, there is a very high level of respect between each other in the team with all the engineers from their side and my side.
"I think we are both mature enough to know what's right and what's wrong. As long as that keeps being the case, and I don't expect anything to change."
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Perez: Verstappen the hardest driver to beat
The RB19 has established itself as being in a different league compared to the competition, with it likely to produce a similar title race in 2023 as Mercedes did at the start of the hybrid era 2014.
Perez believes the combination of dominant car and Verstappen makes him one of the hardest competitors to beat on track. So far he has managed to stay within a reasonable margin, when the pair have been close on track.
"Not only Jeddah but already in Bahrain, we were in very small margins, in qualifying and in the race."
He continued: "There is no doubt that there is no driver on such a form as there is Max, and so together with the team with the car he's definitely the hardest driver to beat," he said.
"So it will require the maximum amount from me to bring my A game at every single weekend."