Red Bull driver Sergio Perez has made the headlines quite regularly this season, but despite his team’s electric start to the campaign, he has mostly been under fire.
While teammate Max Verstappen has seemingly marched to what will almost certainly be a third successive world championship, Perez’s personal fortunes have not been in conjunction with his team’s lofty standards.
The Mexican driver initially gave the impression that he would offer Max a reasonable run for his money, but he has been highly inconsistent over the course of the season so far even though Red Bull has collectively won each of the first 12 Grand Prix.
Verstappen and Perez are known to have had their fair share of problems behind the scenes, something that came to light at the back-end of last season, and he has now spoken about how he is “feeling the pressure” of racing alongside a generational talent.
“It’s very difficult of course to have Max as a teammate,” Perez said.
“Because he pushes you to the maximum and it creates a lot of pressure and stress. It’s not easy to cope with that, a guy that is always delivering the 100 per cent out of the car.”
Only one of Max Verstappen’s teammates has ever finished ahead of him. That was way back in 2016 and 2017 when the Dutchman had just entered the sport and a certain Daniel Ricciardo was at the peak of his abilities at the Milton Keynes-based outfit.
The Dutch GP will be crucial for Perez, who knows that pressure is mounting on him, especially with Verstappen’s discontent towards him coupled with Ricciardo getting catapulted into the Alphatauri seat till the end of the season.
“I don’t think we should take anything away from the talent that he is and how hard he works, how he delivers and how focused he is,” Perez said.
“That is something unique to have and something I learned a lot from myself.
“Yeah, I’ve had a great time.”