Helmut Marko suggests Red Bull pondering switching priority to Sergio Perez ahead of Max Verstappen

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has expressed great delight at the recent performances of Sergio Perez in the early part of the season.

The Mexican driver capped off a positive start with a P2 at the recently concluded Australian Grand Prix.

Both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were cruelly denied podium finishes in the first race of the season, where a fuel vacuum forced them to prematurely end their runs.

Perez proved his credentials once again at the second Grand Prix in Saudi Arabia, where he started the race on pole. However, an untimely safety car being deployed jeopardised his plans.

While the Safety Car almost ruined his chances in Australia too, he was able to put on a tremendous display to secure a P2 behind Charles Leclerc.

Marko and Perez in a good place

Helmut Marko. Credit: gpfans.net

Marko is happy with how quickly Perez has settled into the new Red Bull challenger.

“Checo drove a great race, he was on par with Max,” he said.

“He lost a position at the start because Hamilton made a sensational start, he had a little slip there, but he showed a good race and we expect the same from him.”

Marko asserted that a distinct difference in Perez’ performances this year has been his competitiveness in races. That has made him a potent weapon for the team, with Verstappen no longer the de-facto number 1.

“He has improved a lot this year in qualifying and in the race he is also there,” Marko said.

“Actually, we should have got at least second and third places. But we are happy that Checo finished second. He is in sensational form.”

Perez spoke about his moment of brilliance in getting the better of Hamilton during the race.

“Always with Lewis it’s very entertaining,” he told Mark Webber.

“[He’s a] very hard racer but very fair and yeah we always have fun together.”

Perez is currently in the fourth position in the drivers’ standings, already 41 points behind table-topper Charles Leclerc.

Read more: Hamilton debunks Villenueve’s Russell theory in honest assessment of teammate’s Mercedes start

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