Ex-F1 driver believes Sergio Perez still has ‘no chance’ against Max Verstappen

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen looking glum in the post-race press conference with Sergio Perez. Saudi Arabia March 2023

Max Verstappen won't do Sergio Perez favours in his race for P2.

Sergio Perez may have won the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix but he doesn’t “stand a chance” at beating Max Verstappen to this year’s World title, that’s according to Christian Danner.

Although it is still early days in the 2023 championship, Red Bull are facing the prospect of an intra-team battle for the Drivers’ title with Perez making it known he’s up for the fight.

He won the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to make it one victory and one runner-up result for each of the Red Bull team-mates, however, it is Verstappen who is leading the standings as he has the fastest lap point from the Jeddah race.

Already the tussle is putting the team-mates at odds with Verstappen saying after the race that he’s “not here to be second” while Perez tweeted, and deleted, “I want to be a champion.”

Danner says he stands no chance of that happening.

“He actually believes so deep in his heart that he can beat Verstappen, that he’s the better one,” Motorsport-Total.com quotes the former F1 driver as having told ServusTV.

But, he added: “I have to say… from the outside, though, he doesn’t stand a chance.

“Verstappen is better in every respect and he has to live with that.

“It’s good [for Red Bull] to have a back-up but in general, of course, Verstappen is better, because he gets the coal out of the fire.

“That’s why you need a Verstappen who is happy, who is satisfied and who can also develop his own potential perfectly.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

Max Verstappen wary of Melbourne curse as he aims for first Australian GP win
Jeremy Clarkson’s most outrageous F1 quotes: Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen be warned
The two potential headaches hanging over Red Bull in Australia

Sergio Perez has one chance to prove his detractors wrong

Perez is dividing opinion among pundits and fans, some believing Saudi Arabia was proof he can fight Verstappen for the World title and others pointing out the Dutchman started down in 15th place.

Either way this is Perez’s one shot to race his team-mate for the title as Red Bull need not worry about another team interfering ie Perez needn’t worry about team orders coming his way.

He has a fair shot at taking on the reigning World Champion as Red Bull are adamant their two drivers are free to race one another, they just have to remember the rules of engagement are that the team comes first.

But there are still big questions about the Mexican driver’s temperament given that in Saudi Arabia Verstappen showed that touch of ruthlessness that many argue is needed to be great. Perez in turn was left complaining about “different” information and calling for a review of the team’s communication.

Whatever that review turns up the only point to note is 44 versus 43. And that’s in Verstappen’s favour.