Sergio Perez subject of Red Bull ‘issue’ reference from rival team boss

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen chats with Sergio Perez in Jeddah. March 2023

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen chats with Sergio Perez.

In a season in which Red Bull could be romping to 1-2 results, Fred Vasseur says the “issue” they have is the “big difference” between championship leader Max Verstappen and his teammate Sergio Perez.

Having delivered an unstoppable RB19 this season, Red Bull are chasing a season’s whitewash with the team having won the first 12 races of the championship.

That’s put them on course for a second successive championship double as well as the 1-2 in the Drivers’ standings.

A ‘big difference’ between Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen

In fact, it seems the only thing that can stop them from achieving all of that is their second driver, Perez.

After a strong start to the season, he lost his way after crashing in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix with the driver admitting he lost trust in the car.

Unable to break into Q3 five races in a row, he not only fell away from Verstappen in the championship title but also found his P2 in the standings coming under threat.

While Perez has put in a bit of a recovery of late, recording back-to-back podiums in Hungary and Belgium, he is still the weak point in an incredibly strong Red Bull team.

So much so even rival team bosses are commenting on it.

“When you see the result that race after race there is a big difference between the two teammates, but this is not my issue, it is the issue of Red Bull,” Ferrari team boss Vasseur told the media including PlanetF1.com.

He reckons that could in part be done to their way the teammates set up the RB19.

“It’s quite impossible to split between the driver and team or car. The driver is developing the car, he’s also setting up the car, that’s part of the performance of the car,” he said.

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His comments come after Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff highlighted Perez’s failure to take the fight to Verstappen to at least give Formula 1 fans a two-car fight for the championship.

Comparing Mercedes’ heydays to that of Red Bull’s, the Austrian said: “I don’t know whether our dominance was similar or less. I think we had years where we did it in the same way.

“But at least we had two cars that were fighting each other so that caused a little bit of entertainment for everyone. And that’s not the case at the moment.”

Perez trails Verstappen by 125 points with the Mexican driver 40 ahead of third-placed Fernando Alonso.

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