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Verstappen Perez rivalry key to Red Bull attacking Mercedes

Verstappen Perez rivalry key to Red Bull attacking Mercedes


Verstappen Perez rivalry key to Red Bull attacking Mercedes

Verstappen Perez rivalry key to Red Bull attacking Mercedes

Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez believe internal competition will drive the team’s efforts to overcome reigning champions Mercedes this year.

Verstappen, in his sixth season with Red Bull, has been a clear team leader since Daniel Ricciardo left at the end of 2018 after being paired with Pierre Gasly and then Alex Albon.

That has changed this season, with proven race winner Perez joining after a standout campaign with Racing Point last year, to create one of the most exciting pairings on the grid.

“I want to beat Max, Max wants to beat me, and that will be to the benefit of the team," said Perez. "We want to push the team forwards.

“If we are able to create that competition between us that will be for the benefit of the team. We have been [in F1] long enough to cope with that, and I just hope that I am able to put the pressure on Max and we can push the team forward."

Verstappen added: “At the end of the day that is beneficial for the whole team. I’ve known Checo for many years in the paddock and now we are team-mates you get more of an insight into how he is working.

“Everything is working smoothly and with feedback, we are heading in the same direction - I hope the right direction. I hope we can score a good amount of points and put the pressure on Mercedes in every single race weekend.”

Verstappen is hoping the additional insight Perez brings from his previous teams, most recently Racing Point and previously McLaren, will add to the armoury at Red Bull and build the championship challenge this season.

The Dutch driver has out-qualified his team-mates in all but one race in the last two years but insists he has "worked hard" to achieve that, is not taking it for granted and is still ready to learn and adapt.

“I think over the last few years I did improve as a driver through experience and understanding an F1 car better, how to set up a car, what you want from a car, especially in qualifying how to drive it at a limit," added Verstappen.

"I am happy with the progress I have made but there are always things that can be done better."


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