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Perez receives SYMPATHY from F1 rival on his title prospects

Perez receives SYMPATHY from F1 rival on his title prospects

Perez receives SYMPATHY from F1 rival on his title prospects

Perez receives SYMPATHY from F1 rival on his title prospects

Valtteri Bottas admits he can "relate" to Sergio Perez amidst his likely title battle with Max Verstappen.

The two Red Bull drivers have won two races apiece in 2023 so far with Perez taking the spoils in last weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

For the first time in three years of Perez being with the team, it looks as though he will be given licence to mount a title challenge rather than act as a wingman to Verstappen, who has won each of the last two Drivers' Championship titles.

When asked to discuss the battle at the front of the grid, the Alfa Romeo driver offered his insight into what it is like to be a number two driver, with Bottas playing the role during his time at Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton.

The Finn observed: "I can kind of relate to him that he's trying to find something new every year in trying to beat his team-mate."

Perez warned by Bottas despite 'decent' start

In the past two years, Perez has often had to sacrifice his own race potential in order to help Verstappen.

The best example of that was in Verstappen's title-clinching Abu Dhabi epic when the Mexican was able to slow down Hamilton with some outstanding driving.

However, this year, the 33-year-old is up for the fight and if the two drivers continue to win races then a fascinating title battle could be on the cards.

Perez is matching Verstappen stride for stride at the minute

Bottas knows what it is like to be a clear number two driver with his title chances often hampered by team orders.

He has praised Perez for his start to the season but has told him it may not necessarily last.

"I think he's had a pretty decent season so far, and time will show for sure, but it's not going to be easy [for him to beat Verstappen]," he said candidly.

"I felt like until a certain point in the season [I could always fight Lewis for the title] and it's just about how different teams work, what they decide, when they decide what is good for them.

"But yes they can support both drivers the same and I definitely felt like I had that opportunity every year and then at some point, there was a decision obviously over who is going to [win]."

READ MORE: F1 Race Engineers: The stars of team radio with Hamilton, Verstappen and co

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