Berger: Perez and Verstappen ‘strong match’

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Max Verstappen ahead of Sergio Perez during the Bahrain Grand Prix

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Gerhard Berger believes that Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen will make a strong team, and says Red Bull had to sign the Mexican.

Perez and Verstappen will be team-mates next season after Red Bull decided to replace Alex Albon with ‘Checo’ for 2021 at the least.

Many, including Lewis Hamilton, think that it makes the team a bigger threat to Mercedes, and Berger agrees, and says that it’s a move that had to be made if they wanted to challenge for titles again and not fall further behind.

“On the one hand, of course, with Albon, you have a young driver who you want to give the opportunity to, who you want to train, who you want to lead to be a winning driver,” he told Servus TV.

“On the other hand… Pérez, you know, is a constant. He’s very fast, he’s won a race now. And one thing is already clear: if you are running at a high level, you can hardly afford to not have two top guys and really get the most points.

“If you’re really looking for maximum performance, you can’t let Perez pass. I imagine Verstappen-Perez will be a strong match.

“With Max Verstappen, you have a first-rate driver who really is an absolute contender for the world championship. But you also have to protect yourself because the other teams are already coming.

“The goal of Red Bull must clearly be the championship. On the one hand with the drivers, and on the other hand in the classification of the teams.”

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Berger also spoke about matters at his former team, Ferrari.

2020 was Sebastian Vettel’s last season with the Italian team and considering he failed to win a title while there, it’s a spell that isn’t considered a hugely successful one.

Berge has defended Vettel though, saying that only two drivers had undoubtedly successful stints with the team, putting it down to the traditional Italian nature of operations in Maranello.

“As far as I can remember, Ferrari only had two drivers who put them on the road to success – Niki Lauda and Michael Schumacher,” the Austrian added.

“Kimi Raikkonen was a bit lucky and everyone else failed.

“Controlling that team with the Italian mentality is a difficult thing.”

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