Footage has shown the true context of a Red Bull social media post branding Max Verstappen the “lion” and Sergio Perez the “friendly dog”, after some fans took that as a dig at Perez.
The Red Bull drivers are enjoying some downtime over the winter to recharge the batteries ahead of the new season, though Verstappen and Perez will look back at the season just gone with differing emotions.
Verstappen pieced together an F1 2023 campaign of record-breaking dominance, winning 19 of the 22 grands prix as he blitzed his way to a third World Championship, while for Perez, his title hopes emphatically crumbled after his strong start where he shared two wins apiece with Verstappen across the opening four rounds.
Sergio Perez gave himself ‘friendly dog’ tag
A post on Red Bull’s X account did not sit well with some fans, who took Perez being described as the “friendly dog” as a dig at the Mexican racer after a gruelling campaign alongside the dominant Verstappen, but it turns out Perez had in a prior piece stated he would want to be a “friendly dog” if he were an animal.
The lion and the friendly dog 😉 pic.twitter.com/3xwQYmNR0q
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) December 17, 2023
In reply to the post, one fan wrote: “That’s slightly insulting don’t you think?” Another fan gave a similar reaction of: “Calling Perez a friendly dog is an insult.”
“Y’all really just called your number 2 driver a dog? I would be so pi$$ed if I was Checo Perez right now,” another fan posted. “After all the work he did for Max and the team.”
However, seeing the misunderstanding unfold, fellow fans joined the conversation to inform that this was in reference to Perez saying he would want to be a “friendly dog” as an animal, with the footage of this posted to back that up.
For those who missed the live, watch this video and you will understand the context.pic.twitter.com/GpiSHZIiCl
— camila | 🇦🇷 1:11 (@myanafav) December 17, 2023
“Checo, some drivers are often associated with an animal, like Max with the lion and Daniel [Ricciardo] with the honey badger, what animal do you reckon you are?” Perez was asked by the interviewer.
In response, Perez said: “I go for a friendly dog.”
Perez will look to reset and take a fresh shot at title glory in F1 2024, as he enters the final year of his Red Bull contract on a mission to secure an extension, with the shadow of Daniel Ricciardo at B-team AlphaTauri looming large.