Sergio Perez won’t be “broken” by Max Verstappen with Franz Tost confident his experience means he will approach the challenge with a different attitude to the likes of Pierre Gasly.
Red Bull has a new driver this season, Verstappen’s third team-mate in as many years with Perez handed a one-year deal.
The Mexican racer, who joins from Racing Point, is replacing Alex Albon who a year prior replaced Pierre Gasly.
And although Gasly has since gone on to win a grand prix, taking the chequered flag at last year’s Italian GP with AlphaTauri, Red Bull opted to go with Perez instead of giving the Frenchman a second shot.
Tost says that’s because of experience.
While the Red Bull F1 cars suit Verstappen’s driving style, the same cannot be said of his team-mate’s. That led to Gasly trying too hard and ultimately failing. Albon had the same problem.
“He [Gasly] had Max Verstappen as a team-mate,” the AlphaTauri team boss explained to Motorsport Netherlands, “and Max has been killing everyone next to him, with the exception of a few.
“If you go there as a newcomer with very high expectations, you will go under when you find a Max Verstappen by your side who has been there with four or five years of F1 experience.
“He is one of the fastest drivers on the field, and then you’ll found that the car does not behave the way you want it to.”
Tost is confident the same fate won’t befall Perez because he better understands the challenge that awaits him in having Verstappen as a team-mate.
Like Gasly, Perez broke his duck last season, winning the Sakhir Grand Prix with Racing Point.
“If the car suits him, Perez will certainly ensure good results,” Tost said.
“He will leave his mark and collect a lot of points, but he will not be broken by Verstappen because he knows how fast he is.
“Perez knows that Max is going to bend him and that he has no chance.”