Red Bull predict what Sergio Perez would achieve without Max Verstappen

Thomas Maher
Red Bull's Helmut Marko speaking with Sergio Perez

Red Bull's Helmut Marko speaking with Sergio Perez

How would Sergio Perez be faring if he didn’t have to worry about Max Verstappen as his teammate at Red Bull?

While Sergio Perez is ending the 2023 season on something of a low note having spent most of the year struggling for consistent form alongside Max Verstappen, the Mexican driver’s success – and reputation – would have been very, very different without his teammate alongside.

Removing Verstappen, and turning Red Bull into a one-car team, would still have resulted in outright title success for Red Bull and Perez, according to Christian Horner.

Christian Horner: Sergio Perez would have won the titles for Red Bull

Speaking to media after Verstappen’s dominant win at Suzuka, which wrapped up the Constructors’ Championship for Red Bull for a sixth time, Horner was asked whether or not the team could have won the championship with just one car.

Verstappen’s 400 points massively eclipses Mercedes’ current 305-point score, meaning the Dutch driver would still be keeping Red Bull in a comfortable lead heading into the final races of the year.

But Sergio Perez trails on 223 points, some 82 points behind Mercedes. However, Horner pointed out that Perez’s results would have been improved without Verstappen to finish ahead of him on the road, meaning the Mexican driver would also have been able to contend for the Constructors’ Championship on his own.

“Look, I think either driver is pretty much leading the Constructors’ Championship at the moment,” he said.

“[Perez] is still second in the World Championship. He’s finished second to Max six times (sic) (editor: four times in Grands Prix) so far. So, had Max not been there, he would have been another six races on top of the two he’d already won.”

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Horner may be a little optimistic in his predictions, however, as Perez’s adjusted score for his second-place finishes would only elevate him by around 30 points (4 x 7) and a small handful more depending on fastest lap points.

Given that Verstappen’s absence would also benefit Red Bull’s rivals, a generous swing in Perez’s favour would be somewhere in the ballpark of 60 points. Even with that added to his score, this would still be behind Mercedes.

“But it’s the combination of the two drivers’ points that have obviously provided the amount of victories that we’ve had across the season – 13 with Max, two with Checo,” Horner said.

“To achieve this sixth Constructors’ Championship is beyond our wildest dreams coming into the season. I don’t think we could have ever dreamt of having a year like this.

“So I think that Max is absolutely at the top of the game. He’s the best driver in Formula 1 at this point in time, and I think everything has to come together – car, driver, all in total harmony.”

However, Perez would be comfortably leading the Drivers’ Championship with six races to come, well clear of Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso.

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