Sergio Perez has revealed he "managed" championship leader Max Verstappen in order to claim victory at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The Mexican backed up his 2021 triumph on the Baku streets with a near-perfect weekend that saw him win both Saturday's Sprint and the race itself – becoming the first man to win twice in the Azeri capital.
Keeping his colleague at bay was never going to be an easy task but Perez managed to do so with minimal fuss to close to within six points of his colleague atop the F1 drivers' championship standings.
"I think it was very close between us," he added. "We pushed to the maximum today. We both hit the wall a few times - we were pushing out there.
"The way Max pushed me throughout the race was really hard but we managed to keep him under control."
Both of the Red Bull drivers had found a way past pole-sitter Charles Leclerc within the first five laps.
Perez was then eased into the lead when pitting under a safety car period after Nyck de Vries stopped on the track on lap 11.
"It really worked out for us," said Perez. "We managed to stay in the DRS train and keep the pressure on Max.
"I think we had better deg on that first stint. It was looking good already from that side, then the safety car came and bunched everyone up so it was, again, another race on the hard tyres."
Verstappen still leads the standings on 93 points, whilst Perez has 86 – with the drivers sharing a pair of victories apiece.
READ MORE: Perez doubles up in Azerbaijan after Red Bull blunder