Words of Consolation Given to Sergio Perez as “Remarkable” Max Verstappen Blocks Way to Glory

Published 02/23/2023, 12:15 PM EST

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Every year, the stopwatch resets in the world of Formula 1. That is to say, whatever happened last year is forgotten, and opportunities are galore for a driver to reinvent themselves and go for that title charge once again. Sergio Perez, however, finds himself in a uniquely tricky position at Red Bull. On the one hand, the Mexican Minister of Defense has the privilege of being strapped into a bona fide championship contender in the form of the RB19. That being said, on the flip side of things, he is up against arguably the greatest driver on the grid right now, Max Verstappen. It’s a tough bargain to strike for Checo, but can he make it out of it victorious this time around?

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Last year, we saw glimmers of what Perez can do. At one point in the season, many even considered the Mexican to be in the title fight. But as Verstappen gained traction, Perez’s title bid faded away as the Dutch lion stomped the entire field en route to his second consecutive world championship. On the balance of things, Perez finished 3rd, only three points away from being the runner-up. However, in reality, being blown out of the water by Verstappen in equal machinery would’ve been devastating for the 33-year-old.

via Reuters

Be that as it may, according to Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, there is a silver lining for Perez as he tries to do the seemingly impossible this year. In an interview with Kronen Zeitung, Marko began by evaluating Verstappen’s 2023 prospects. “We will see an even more confident Max due to his routine. How he has evolved is remarkable.” [translated via Google Translate]

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“In addition, he has become a real tire whisperer and has an incredible overview in the race.”

But according to the Austrian, Sergio Perez can’t be written off either. “Sergio grows with Max. And: You have to put up with a teammate Verstappen for three years. Sergio didn’t break down. That’s a strong performance.” Irrespective, he was quick to snap the Mexican back to reality.

“But in terms of speed, Max is clearly superior throughout the season.”

Read More: “This Is a Proper Racecar!”: Jenson Button Blown Away by NASCAR’s First Le Mans Entry as He Takes It for a Spin

Marko isn’t a stranger to reminding Sergio Perez of exactly where he stands as to the pecking order when compared to Verstappen. But Sergio Perez wants to break free.

Sergio Perez reveals the crucial detail that will help him defeat Max Verstappen

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In a team sport like F1, it is often easy to pass the buck on to someone else. In the short term, it may help veil the driver’s own weaknesses. However, in the long run, this is an antidote to success. For Sergio Perez, the only feasible of beating Max Verstappen is by owning up to the challenge.

via Reuters

During the Red Bull livery launch, he told The Drive, “I’m 100% responsible for that [my own success] to work together with my team, to have a good plan, to follow it. And to be able to find the consistency throughout the whole season, that will be the main key for us.”

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Can Sergio Perez be true to his words to prove Helmut Marko wrong and trump Max Verstappen to that 2023 crown?

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Written by:

Anirban Aly Mandal

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Anirban Aly Mandal is a Formula 1 Author at EssentiallySports. In his pursuit for a Bachelor's degree in Law from Symbiosis Law School, he has written multiple academic papers centered around the domain of motorsports. Not only that, but due to his love for F1, he aims to work as a legal advisor in the most prestigious racing series in the world some day.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare

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