June 20, 2024
Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez’s father has commented on the relationship between the two Red Bull drivers following a strong start to the 2024 campaign.

Antonio Perez, father of Red Bull star Sergio Perez, has insisted that his son’s relationship with team-mate Max Verstappen is ‘much better’ at the moment after some flickers of tension during the early stages of the 2023 campaign.

While Verstappen and Perez now have a relatively harmonious relationship, this wasn’t always the case. The three-time world champion held a grudge for some time after his team-mate’s qualifying crash at the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix cost him a shot at pole position.

A Ferrari strategy disaster handed the win to Perez on race day, and Verstappen got his payback in Brazil, refusing to invert the cars and hand the position to his colleague on the final lap. The points that Checo lost from that incident ultimately cost him second place in the Drivers’ Championship standings.

That was the low point in the pair’s relationship and while there were some tensions after Perez’s win in Azerbaijan in round four of the 2023 championship, those have been ironed out. Speaking to Azteca Deportes about the intra-team relations at Red Bull, Perez Snr said: “Checo’s relationship is much better with Max.

“They are two tigers in the same cage is what I have told them. And if you ask me, who would you like to see Checo team up with, I would say the best in the world. So however it is today Checo is the second best in the world in Formula One.”

Perez has also benefitted from worrying less about his Red Bull colleague’s performance. The 34-year-old made a slew of errors throughout the middle part of the 2023 season as he tried desperately to cut the deficit to Verstappen. However, in 2024 he returned with a fresh attitude.

Discussing this new style in Shanghai, Horner told Sky Sports F1: “Checo is doing a great job. He’s come into this season in a new frame of mind. He’s relaxed, he’s driving well and his confidence is growing. He’s not focusing on his team-mate and it’s a different approach.”

This approach has paid off in terms of points. While the gap between the two Red Bull drivers stands at 25 points after five races, Perez is comfortably ahead in the race for P2 in the Drivers’ Championship standings and his P3 finish in Shanghai made it four podiums from a possible five to start the year.

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