Sergio Perez takes aim at media for false Max Verstappen rivalry

Michelle Foster
Sergio Perez goes to congratulate race winner Max Verstappen. Miami May F1 2023

Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen offer their congratulations.

Intent on challenging Max Verstappen for the win in Mexico, Sergio Perez has rubbished talk of a rivalry with his teammate saying that’s something the media has created.

Without a win in the last 14 Grands Prix with his teammate having clinched 13 of those, Perez is keen to secure the victory at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in front of his home fans.

He also needs it if reports about him having to finish runner-up in the championship or face a “proper conversation” about his future, as Ted Kravitz put it, are to be believed.

Sergio Perez rubbished talk of Max Verstappen rivalry

With history pointing to Verstappen not doing his teammate any favours, the Dutchman having made it clear he wants to win every one of the remaining four races, it has led to suggestions things could get heated in Mexico.

Perez has denied this, adamant there is no rivalry with Verstappen that could bubble over.

“No, not at all,” he said when asked if his rivalry with Verstappen would spill over into ‘something a little more unsavoury’ in Mexico.

“And I think it’s important that we give this message because I think media likes to create this sort of rivalry outside the track and I think we are a great sport.

“We are a great example for a lot of young generations and we should just be focused on the sport side.

“And whatever happens on track should always stay there and that’s the best message we, as a country, want to give to the rest of the world.

“And yeah, there is nothing else going on. The most important thing is that everything stays on track.”

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Sergio Perez: I don’t think that there should be any rivalry

But with Helmut Marko having blamed Mexican fans for the unsporting booing Verstappen faced last time out in Austin, Perez was asked about Mexico’s perception of his relationship with his teammate.

“Well, I think obviously, we are all rivals but at the same time we are all sports athletes, and we all want to do the best for ourselves,” he said.

“Max and myself, we are in the same team so we both want to win and we are all giving our best so I don’t think that there should be any rivalry.

“For example, if I’m fighting in the race with Fernando, he’s not my rival out of the track, it’s just that we are just fighting on track.

“But like I say, the media likes to create this rivalry out of the track which I don’t think is right and it’s important for the fans to understand that.”

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