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Sergio Perez

Perez: ‘There are reasons why’ drivers struggle at Red Bull

Sergio Perez has opened up on the difficulties of being the team-mate of three-time world champion Max Verstappen.

Perez Imola FP2
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Sergio Perez has revealed that "there are reasons why" drivers often struggle at Red Bull, and that it is "super spicy" being alongside Max Verstappen. 

The Mexican driver has rarely been able to match Verstappen for a consistent period and is viewed as the Dutchman's number two. 

Unlike Verstappen, Perez's performances have often varied. In 2023, he matched the reigning world champion in the opening handful of races, before enduring a miserable run of form. 

Some in the past have even judged the second Red Bull seat as cursed, given that every driver to have occupied it alongside Verstappen has struggled. 

"It's not fair if I'm going to speak for other drivers, but there are reasons why Red Bull doesn't work for everyone," Perez told select media including RacingNews365.

"Being Verstappen's team-mate is super spicy. I'm sure I would have stood out more often if I had another team-mate. However, it is a fantastic challenge. Max is the best driver, he is complete and makes few mistakes. 

"It's great to have a team-mate like that, because you know you have to push to the limit and finish perfect weekends to beat him."

Mental challenge

One of the biggest difficulties for Perez being alongside Verstappen is remaining in the right frame of mind. 

With Verstappen winning at almost every single Grand Prix in the current era of F1, Perez often finds himself under immense pressure from the media. 

Perez recognises the importance of remaining "mentally strong" alongside Verstappen although, the 34-year-old accepts that is not always easy.

"If you keep struggling and have a team-mate like Max, who delivers weekend after weekend, you end up in a vicious cycle," explained Perez. 

"You're constantly looking at the set-up of the car, when there's probably not that much left in it. 

"You really just have to reset and stay mentally strong, because sometimes it can be very difficult. At Red Bull you just have to be mentally strong now."

Also interesting:

In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding look back at this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen and Lando Norris went head-to-head for the victory around the famous Imola Circuit as McLaren continue to pile the pressure on Red Bull!

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here.

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