Max Verstappen’s ‘damage done’ verdict on Sergio Perez after Canadian GP mess

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen and Lando Norris celebrate after Canada

Max Verstappen and Lando Norris celebrate after Canada

Failing to score a single point in the last two races, Max Verstappen is hoping Sergio Perez can get “back up there” as he needs his team-mate to help him in the championship.

Although Red Bull looked to be on course to romp away with the championship titles when Verstappen and Perez bagged three 1-2 results in the opening four races, McLaren and Ferrari closed the gap with their early-season upgrades.

Max Verstappen: The damage was done in qualifying

Alternating McLaren, Verstappen, Ferrari, Verstappen since Miami, the reigning World Champion has found himself in a three-team fight for Grands Prix wins.

But unlike McLaren and Ferrari, Red Bull have just one driver in the race.

Verstappen’s team-mate Perez has failed to feature in qualifying’s Q3 three races in succession while in Monaco and Montreal he didn’t even make it out of Q1. He subsequently crashed in both Grands Prix.

Without a point for two races in a row, Red Bull still managed to extend their advantage in the Constructors’ Championship in Canada thanks to a sixth win of the season for Verstappen and a double Ferrari DNF.

Verstappen is hoping his team-mate’s troubles are a “one-off”.

“I think the damage was done yesterday, of course, for Checo,” he said. “Starting in the back, it’s very hard in these conditions. Then, of course, I saw him retire with the damage.

“So I knew that I had to score big, of course, to not let the other teams catch up a lot.

“But I do think at the end of the day, as long as you keep winning, so you score 25 points, even if the others finish P2, P3, you don’t really lose out too much. And then you kind of can afford sometimes these one-offs.

“But of course, naturally, we always want the two cars to be up there. And I also have no doubt that that will change very soon again.

“We just need to work on our car, to be honest, to make it a bit easier to drive also, probably, to feel a bit more comfortable. And then I’m sure that we have both cars back up there like we had in the beginning of the season.”

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Lando Norris tells Max Verstappen ‘two is better than one’

Red Bull left Montreal on 301 points, 49 ahead of Ferrari with McLaren a further 40 off the pace.

But with McLaren scoring almost every race with both drivers, only once missing out when Oscar Piastri was P13 in Miami, Lando Norris believes the Woking team could yet make a charge.

Pointing out that “two is better than one” even in “Max’s case”, he reckons that’s one of McLaren’s biggest strengths.

“We’ll keep pushing and I think that’s one of our biggest strengths at the minute,” said the Briton.

“We have two drivers as McLaren who are up there not making mistakes and getting pretty much everything out of the car every single weekend. Yeah, it’s rare that there’s not many other teams on the grid that have such a thing.

“So for us, it’s more out of what we can do against Ferrari. Again, we’ve been a more consistent team coming into this weekend. They’ve had some mistakes and just struggled a little bit more for whatever reason.

“But in the end of the day, I think two is going to be better than one, you know, in Max’s case.

“So we’re doing a good job, but we still need to keep pushing on and try and bring more upgrades and things like that. Because with Mercedes joining, it’s only going to make it harder to score big points like we did today.”

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