Sergio Perez changes his tune from ‘different information’ to Max Verstappen

Michelle Foster
Sergio Perez staring in the Red Bull garage. Bahrain February 2023

Mexican driver Sergio Perez staring in the Red Bull garage. Bahrain February 2023

Having questioned Red Bull’s team communication at the Saudi Arabian GP, even going as far as to call for a review, Sergio Perez says looking back it was “very well played” by Red Bull.

Perez was left smarting after Max Verstappen denied him a fastest lap point at the Jeddah circuit, one that would have seen the Mexican driver lead the Drivers’ Championship for the very first time.

But as Verstappen claimed it, doing so on the very last lap of the grand prix, it’s the reigning World Champion who leads the standings by 44 points to Perez’s 43.

Perez wasn’t happy, telling the media: “They told me I had the fastest lap and to keep the pace at a certain pace.

“I thought the communication was the same to Max, I think we need to review the different information and I just couldn’t push then in the end.”

But having spoken with the team since, Red Bull’s second round of clear-the-air talks between the team-mates in four races with the first having taken place after last year’s Sao Paulo GP, Perez is feeling much happier about the situation.

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“[Things] are great,” he said as per the official F1 website. “I think we spoke about it and we are all in the same line, we obviously learn from that.

“At the time I thought I was not given the right information but now looking back at it, it was all very well played by the team.”

But determined that this season is the year in which he will fight for a first World title, the Mexican driver says it is imperative both he and Verstappen “respect” the team’s radio messages.

“When I came to the team, things were very different,” Perez said. “And basically, they were just going racing with two cars because they had to.

“I can say now that I really feel part of the team, I really feel like I have my place well respected. And I think that’s, that’s something good to have as a driver.

“I really believe that they have full support of the team as much as Max does and, that I will have every single opportunity to win the championship as much Max.

“If I want to win the championship, I have to beat Max.

“When you are in the fight for the championship, you got to take your A game to every single race, and you have to try everything you possibly can.

“But at the same time, I think it will be very important that we will respect whatever has been told by the team.”

The 33-year-old believes in his RB19 he has the right car to fight for the championship as it is expected to be competitive at all circuits.

“We got a very strong car, very strong package,” he added.

“A car that I feel comfortable with, a car and I’m working well with a car that I also believe that the direction we take the development I can get the most out of it.

“And I think that’s important to be able to stay in the fight throughout the season, to have a car that you can be competitive, whatever condition you are in.”