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Sergio Perez

Perez's father likens Red Bull duel to Prost and Senna

With Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen seemingly locked in an intra-team battle for the 2023 F1 title, the Mexican's father says he is reminded of a classic rivalry from years gone by.

Verstappen Perez Miami
To news overview © XPBimages

Sergio Perez's father says the championship battle between his son and Max Verstappen reminds him of F1's historic rivalry between Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.

With Red Bull looking the class of the field, the 2023 Drivers' Championship looks to be a straight fight between Perez and Verstappen, and the pair have won all five races of the season so far, with Verstappen taking three wins to Perez's two.

Prost and Senna were teammates at an equally dominant McLaren team in the late 1980s, with Senna taking the '88 title before Prost won the following year's championship, but relations between the two soured badly during 1989, culminating in a controversial crash between the pair at the season's penultimate round in Japan.

"You have to remember when McLaren had Senna and Prost," Antonio Perez told Mexican outlet Esto.

"This is the same thing. Today we are living it again.

"They are two tigers in the same cage. They both think the same, have the same breakfast, eat the same.

"You see they both try to take fastest lap from one another. In qualifying they want the pole; they want to be fastest in practice."

Perez 'would be World Champion several times'

While Verstappen has been affiliated with Red Bull since before he made his F1 debut in 2015, Perez only moved to the squad in 2021 after being dropped by Racing Point.

Verstappen has comfortably had the upper hand over Perez for much of their time as teammates, though Perez’s father noted that the Dutchman’s length of service with Red Bull has given him an advantage.

Antonio Perez added that his son would have already been World Champion if he had had the same opportunities in F1 that Verstappen has had.

"[Verstappen is] more settled in," Antonio Perez said.

"You have to remember how long Max had been with the team.

"Checo can now walk at Max's pace. I still feel that between Max and Checo there are a few thousandths in favour of Max, and in the difficult tracks I see them very even.

"Every morning, [Checo] knows that he is in a team that is in first place and that second is the first loser.

"[Before Red Bull], when he finished 10th, it was amazing, but if Checo had had this opportunity from the beginning as other young drivers have had, he would already be World Champion several times, I have no doubt.

"And I believe we will have Checo Perez here for the next 10 years and I see him as World Champion."

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Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the Miami Grand Prix.

F1 2023 Miami Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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