Two of Max Verstappen’s ex-Formula 1 team-mates have highlighted that Sergio Perez has a “tough job” competing alongside the Dutchman.
Perez joined Red Bull in 2021 but has been unable to consistently keep up with Verstappen’s pace.
Before the Mexican was picked to line up alongside Verstappen, Pierre Gasly and Alexander Albon were pitched against the Dutchman.
In 2019, Gasly was called up from Toro Rosso to replace Daniel Ricciardo but lasted just half a season in the senior squad before being demoted back to his former team.
“It’s never easy to go against probably the best driver at the moment, in combination with the best team, and a team that is fully around him,” Gasly told media including RacingNews365.com.
“So it’s a tough job. Checo did very well at the start of the season. Obviously, for some reason, it's not going as well now – reasons we don't know.
“I just wish him the best. It's an important weekend for him in front of his own crowd [in Mexico], and hopefully he can get the best out of it.”
Viewed by others:
Perez handling difficulties ‘quite well’ - Albon
Following Gasly’s dismissal, he was replaced by Alexander Albon despite the Thai-British driver being just half a season into his F1 career.
Albon was given one and a half seasons at Red Bull but a series of underperforming outings saw him dropped at the end of 2020 in favour of Perez.
The 27-year-old has performed strongly at Williams since returning to the grid last year , turning around the reputation he built while racing alongside Verstappen.
“I think it's tough to go against one of the best drivers on the grid and call it a generational talent to some extent,” Albon said.
“So it wasn't easy my year and I'm sure it wasn't easy for Pierre in his year. But we're drivers, we go through tough times and it makes us stronger.
“I think he [Perez] is handling quite well, at least from what I see.
“I’m not looking over my shoulders too much and seeing see what goes on down the paddock.”