Speaking about Red Bull driver Sergio Perez’s prospects in Formula 1 during the F1 Nation podcast, host Tom Clarkson revealed that the Mexican must admit that he is “slower” than Verstappen. This will offer him the best chance to succeed at the team.
Perez was inducted into Red Bull to provide additional ammunition to the title assault against rivals Mercedes.
Ever since Daniel Ricciardo left Red Bull at the end of 2018, Verstappen has been fighting Mercedes mostly single-handedly. This comes after Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon did not succeed in providing the Dutchman support to compete with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at the front.
Perez is much more experienced than his predecessors and enjoyed a strong race during his debut with Red Bull. At the season opening race in the Bahrain Grand Prix, he finished fifth after having to start from the pit lane as his engine malfunctioned on the formation lap.
The Mexican was due to be 11th on the grid after he missed out on Q3. This was after Red Bull sent him with medium tyres for his Q2 run.
Considering that Perez did not have an error-free start with Red Bull, Clarkson thinks that he should get used to seeing Verstappen ahead of him often.
In a reply to former F2 champion Davide Valsecchi’s statement that Red Bull has finally found someone to work with Verstappen, Clarkson said it is not so straight-forward.
“As long as Perez doesn’t let Max Verstappen’s pace in qualifying get to him, because I think that has been the unravelling of all of Max’s teammates before. So as long as he accepts he’s slower,” he said.
When asked about who will get the podium at the Made in Italy and Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola, Clarkson had a surprising answer which was not the usual Hamilton-Verstappen-Bottas trio that we are so used to seeing.
“I think Pierre Gasly’s going to be on the podium,” he said. “Perhaps Verstappen P1, Hamilton P2, Gasly P3.”
Do you think Perez can compete against Verstappen? Let us know in the comments below!