“Not Good for the Team” – Max Verstappen Calls for End to Perez’s Wingman Status at Red Bull F1

Published 12/20/2021, 12:12 PM EST
Formula One F1 – Qatar Grand Prix – Losail International Circuit, Lusail, Qatar – November 18, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during a press conference Pool via REUTERS/Andrej Isakovic


The Red Bull F1 team has announced that it will go ahead with the same driver line-up of Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen for the upcoming 2022 season. The duo performed exceptionally well in the 2021 season, ensuring a close second finish in the constructors’ championship and of course, the drivers’ title for Verstappen.

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More recently, Perez put up a brilliant example of a team effort in Abu Dhabi after he defended his ground against Lewis Hamilton like a lion, prompting Verstappen to say, “Checo is a legend.” However, there is an underlying perception amongst the F1 community that Verstappen is Red Bull’s priority driver and Perez is merely the Dutchman’s wingman.

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Recently, Max Verstappen wrote off this notion. He said that the two of them have the same opportunities and he doesn’t want to be prioritized in the team.

Max Verstappen hails Perez as a “top guy” in F1

The Mexican had an impressive 2020 F1 season with the Racing Point team. However, the Aston Martin (Erstwhile Racing Point) team did not keep the Mexican for the next season to make room for Vettel. Red Bull made a bold move to have Perez on board, leaving Albon without a seat for the season.

The 24-year-old hailed Perez for his driving skills. “I never thought he would be this awesome,” said Verstappen as reported by GrandPx.

“Previously I only knew him as a driver, but now that I have spent a little more time with him I have noticed that he is really a top guy,” he added.

Perez not the number 2 in Red Bull

The 24-year-old paired with Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly, and Alex Albon in the past. However, the current pair has brought laurels like none other. When asked if he is the best ‘number 2’ for him, he clarified his stance immediately.

“I don’t like to put it that way. In the end, we have the same chances. You have to be respected, of course, but I don’t want to be favored.” said Verstappen promptly.

“I don’t think I need that either and in the end, it’s not good for the team if it’s that way all of the time,” he concluded.

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Max Verstappen is the drivers’ champion of 2021 but he is not too overwhelmed with the success. He was back behind the wheel for the post-season testing in Abu Dhabi.

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The drivers are off for some family time during the winter break. They will be back on the track soon for testing the 2022 F1 cars. What are your predictions for the Red Bull duo for the 2022 season?

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Rituraj Tripathi

252 articles

Rituraj Tripathi is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. A true lover of speed, he is big fan of Lewis Hamilton and finds a future world champion in Lando Norris. Rituraj eagerly looks forward to the paddock moving to the Circuit de Monaco, and he finds Portier corner as the most exciting part of the track.

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