Max Verstappen fired warning from Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez – ‘I want to beat him’

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Sergio Perez has issued a warning to Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen, insisting he won’t rest easy as the team’s number two driver. The Mexican driver has hailed Red Bull for allowing him to challenge Verstappen and admits he feels he has a chance of toppling him as world champion.

Perez has started the 2022 season brightly, reliability issues aside, and was unfortunate to miss out on a P1 finish in Saudi Arabia after sealing his maiden career pole position with a phenomenal qualifying lap. Verstappen profited on an unfortunately-timed pit stop to win that race, and the Dutchman was triumphant last time out at Imola too.

Last year’s world champion leads Perez by five points in the drivers’ championship, sat second and third respectively, whilst Red Bull trail Ferrari by just 11 points in the constructors’ standings. And amidst the harmony and quality within Christian Horner’s ranks, Perez has stressed his desire to leapfrog Verstappen in the table and become the team’s star driver.

He told FOX: “I want to beat Max, and I want to be in front of him. His engineers want to beat our team, we want to beat them, but other than that, there is a great atmosphere between the two teams within it. It is something unique; it has happened in a quite good and natural way. We have the best team in that sense.

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“Red Bull gives me the opportunity. There is never anything that says I have to fall behind Max. If he has been ahead of me, it is because he has been stronger on the track. I feel like I have a chance to be champion with Red Bull.

“I couldn’t be in Formula One after 12 years with my very young children at home. I couldn’t be just knowing that I am the second driver and that I have no chance of winning. It would be disrespectful to me and my career. So I don’t need to be in Formula One; I’m here because I want to win, and I want to be a champion.”

And Perez has emphasised his delight with Red Bull’s start to the season, despite the team’s costly reliability issues in Bahrain and Australia. “I feel very happy, especially for the start of the season we have had,” Perez added.

“We were fast, but reliability problems cost us a lot of points. We should be leading both championships because both Max and I have done a good job and made no mistakes. We are in a season in which we have to go on the attack; we are going to fight for the championship.”

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