Red Bull newbie Perez worked his way up from P6 on the grid to be behind his team-mate on the road in Azerbaijan, with Verstappen’s dramatic tyre failure just five laps from the finish denying the team a near-certain 1-2 finish.
But with the Mexican competing at the front, where predecessors Pierre Gasly and Alexander Albon did not often find themselves, he was able to pick up the pieces and deliver a race win for Red Bull on the day.
The Dutchman spoke of the positives of having a team-mate that challenges for podiums, which helped extend Red Bull’s advantage in the Constructors’ standings to 26 points over Mercedes.
“It’s great to have two cars up at the front fighting for the championship and also scoring the points,” Verstappen said on his official website.
“Baku was a great example of that and how it should be done.
“It’s great that Checo was able to make the gap to Mercedes bigger in the Constructors’ Championship and that he’s now third in the Drivers’ Championship.”
Perez moved himself above Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris in the standings after his first win as a Red Bull driver in only his sixth race. It’s not a controversial thing to suggest that Verstappen was the more likely winner on the day, but the Dutchman was pragmatic about the race – especially as title rival Lewis Hamilton also ended the day in Baku without any points after his lock-up at the race restart.
“Of course I would have liked to have won and it’s fair to say that we were on course to win in Baku, but that’s racing and these things happen,” Verstappen added.
“Sometimes it’s out of your hands so we just have to keep going and move on. We are still leading the championship and of course I would like to be leading with more points but it is what it is.”