Helmut Marko gives Sergio Perez compliment in the most Helmut Marko way possible

Henry Valantine
Sergio Perez, Red Bull F1 driver, pictured with motorsport advisor Helmut Marko

Sergio Perez, Red Bull F1 driver, pictured with motorsport advisor Helmut Marko

Helmut Marko offered Sergio Perez a somewhat back-handed compliment for his performances, dubbing it an “achievement” to have “survived” into a third year as Max Verstappen’s team-mate.

Pierre Gasly was demoted back to Toro Rosso after only half a season alongside the Dutchman and Alex Albon was dropped to a test role after 18 months in the seat, having been roundly out-performed but the now-triple World Champion at Red Bull.

Perez is the one partner post-Daniel Ricciardo to maintain his place at the team, which Marko believes should be lauded – though most drivers would probably argue they would rather be seen as a challenger to their team-mate, rather than wanting to “survive”.

Helmut Marko praises ‘very good’ Sergio Perez for ‘surviving’ against Max Verstappen

Perez has maintained that his goal is still to become World Champion eventually, though Red Bull motorsport advisor Marko believes that he “can’t see anybody” who can beat Verstappen in equal machinery at the moment.

The Dutchman boasts more than double the points tally of Perez in second place in the Drivers’ Championship at the moment with two rounds to spare, having wrapped up his third title back in Qatar in September.

Marko feels Perez has now recovered from his mid-season “low” where Verstappen scampered away from the rest of the field, but feels it is a worthy feat in itself to keep himself within distance of the reigning World Champion in the same car.

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“Checo is a very good driver, but I have to go a little bit back,” Marko told NewstalkZB, as quoted by Australian publication Speedcafe.

“Max dominated all his team-mates, and partly he destroyed them.

“So Checo survived already the third year, which is an achievement.

“And you know it’s, for a race driver, you have to believe that you have the best, and if you are demolished by a team-mate, sometimes by a second a lap, sometimes less, then it’s difficult.

“But he had his, I would say, low in this season. He recovered again, and now he is on a very good level.

“But at the moment, I can’t see anybody would be on the same level in the same car like Max is.”

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