‘Absolutely livid’ Max Verstappen made Sergio Perez vow after Baku defeat

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen looks down as Sergio Perez celebrates.

Max Verstappen looks down as Sergio Perez celebrates.

Max Verstappen reportedly vowed to not let Sergio Perez beat him again in 2023 after his defeat in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Four races into the year and the two Red Bull drivers were equal on wins but at the next race in Miami, Verstappen grabbed hold of the title race and refused to let go.

He would go on to score more than double the points of Perez and his father Jos has reportedly revealed just what the Dutchman’s reaction was to losing that race in Baku.

Max Verstappen ‘absolutely livid’ after Baku defeat

Verstappen finished 2.137 seconds behind his team-mate on the streets of Baku and had a lead of just six points come the chequered flag but despite how much he may have played it cool in front of the cameras, the Red Bull driver was reportedly “absolutely livid” about the race.

“I saw my Max’s dad Jos Verstappen in Qatar in the evening after Max had clinched the championship and we were chatting about the season,” former F1 driver Karun Chandhok told the Sky Sports F1 podcast.

“Then he said to me ‘Max was furious after Baku and when he came home, he said to us I am not going to get beaten by him ever again this season.’

“He was absolutely livid and said ‘he will not beat me again.’ And lo and behold, he was right. It was pretty devastating.”

After that race in Baku, Verstappen put together a run of 10 consecutive victories and come the end of the year had recorded 19 wins, a new F1 record.

As for which moment was his best, Chandhok believes the qualifying lap in Japan stands out.

“I think my moment is going to be Japan qualifying, that qualifying lap, for me it was one of a driver close to perfection,” he said.

“It’s right up there with the great [Ayrton] Senna, [Lewis] Hamilton, [Michael] Schumacher qualifying laps of Formula 1 history.

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“It’s like [Nigel] Mansell ’92 at Silverstone. It’s one of those laps where, yes, he’s in the best car, yes it’s a dominant performance but he was eight tenths ahead of his teammate, six tenths ahead of the rest of the field.

“I’ve watched the lap back three or four times trying to find anything really where there was something left on the table and there wasn’t.

“The track usage on the entry to Spoon Curve, millimetre perfect from the edge of the grass.

“It was just stupendous and for me that really just summed up the season of a driver completely in tune with a car.

“Don’t forget, they came off the back of Singapore, their only loss of the season and the rest of the field had angered the beast.

“We were having this conversation with Anthony Davidson analysing how quickly do we think Max is gonna go purple, purple, purple in every sector and the answer was in his first lap of free practice.”

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