Max Verstappen Hoping to Make Mercedes’ Life Difficult in 2021 Following Perez Signing

Published 12/19/2020, 4:13 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after qualifying in third position Pool via REUTERS/Tolga Bozoglu


So far, Max Verstappen has been the lone warrior in Red Bull’s battle with Mercedes. The Dutchman always lacked the support of his teammate to add more pressure on the Silver Arrows, who dominated the season.

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Now, with Sergio Perez joining hands with Red Bull for 2021, the Mercedes-Red Bull rivalry is definitely afoot. Consequently, the Austrian outfit cleared their major weakness that was persisting in their line-up.

Hence, Max felt that with a competitive car next season, Red Bull can certainly aim for the title, especially with Perez in the team.

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What did Verstappen say?

Speaking to Autosport, Max expressed his opinion on Perez making his way into the team. He opened up how the Mexican could bring about a change.

Hopefully, we can, with a bit more of a competitive car from the start, make it just a bit more interesting and difficult for them [Mercedes] to make decisions,” he said.

Through the 2020 season, Mercedes had the advantage of two drivers charging for the win. Hence, the team found more comfort and freedom in mixing up their strategies if Max turns up to be a threat.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

However, the same can’t be said for Red Bull. It was a rarity to watch Alex Albon racing at the top. He was mostly limiting his fight to the mid-field.

Hence, Red Bull never had a second driver who had the pace to add more pressure on the Mercedes duo. Consequently, Max would see the chequered in either P2 or P3 or lower, with the two Mercedes drivers occupying the top steps on the podium.

I hope Checo will push the team forward: Max Verstappen

Max opined that if Perez manages to fill the void perfectly, it can restrict Mercedes from the freedom of taking an extra stop or focusing on tire management.

It’s more that we’ll have a second car which is capable of being up there as well the whole race and trying to put a bit of pressure,” Max said.

Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Racing Point’s Sergio Perez celebrates on the podium with the trophy after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon

I just hope that Checo will be the one to, first of all, push the whole team forward, but also to keep me on toes, which is always nice. To have a teammate pushing you. It’s always nice.”

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Considering the fact that Honda will be signing off from Formula 1 after 2021, the Japanese manufacturers will want to end the upcoming season on a high. Hence, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Red Bull holds an engine underneath them that is capable of beating the Mercedes.

Overall, will Red Bull end Mercedes’ 7-year-domination in the sport? Will F1 witness a new face lifting the 2021 championship trophy? Only time will tell.

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Rohit Kumar

762 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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