Max Verstappen not going to ‘give present’ of home race win to Sergio Perez

Sam Cooper
Red Bull drivers Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen on press duties. June Montreal 2022

Red Bull drivers Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen on press duties. June Montreal 2022

Max Verstappen has confirmed he will not be gifting his team-mate Sergio Perez a win in his home grand prix and insists the Mexican is good enough to win on his own.

Having won the Drivers’ Championship and helped Red Bull secure the Constructors’ Championship in Austin, there is little more for Verstappen to achieve in the last three races of this season.

The only possible target left for him is to break the record number of race victories in a single campaign, one more and he will move past Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, which has led to some speculate whether he may be feeling generous.

For Red Bull, they are aiming for a one-two in the Drivers’ standings, a feat they have never achieved before, and it was put to Verstappen whether he may be willing to ‘gift’ the race win to his team-mate Perez in what is the Mexican’s home grand prix.

“It’s not about giving presents,” he told Sky Sports F1. “As long as we finish first and second the the team is happy.

“I mean, Checo is good enough to win races on his own.

“It’s way more rewarding anyway to do it like that. So we’ll see this weekend where we are.

“Of course, having your own grand prix is just an amazing feeling anyway and I’m sure he will do well.”

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez holding a Mexican flag. Mexico City November 2021.
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez holding a flag after the Mexican Grand Prix. Mexico City November 2021.

Perez has said similar himself, stating he does not want to receive any gifts from his team-mate.

The Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez is one that has been good to Red Bull in recent years having won three of the past four races.

The track played host to Verstappen’s penultimate win of the 2021 season in which he was locked in a title battle with Lewis Hamilton.

This time round, the Championship may be done and dusted but Verstappen is hoping to have similar form this weekend.

“It’s very slippery,” he said of the track’s characteristics. “You have to throw the car around a little bit more maybe than some other tracks. But it’s just been really good to us as well as the team I think.

“The car has always worked quite well, even now it’s quite different, different tyres, different car so it’s a bit of a question mark if it’s going to be the same but in the past it’s been really good.”

Verstappen goes into the weekend 124 points clear of second-place Charles Leclerc while Perez is two points behind the Ferrari driver.

Read more: Sergio Perez admits he has ‘dreamt a few times’ of home success in Mexico