Max Verstappen is a “problem” for Sergio Perez’s chances of success at Red Bull, according to the Mexican’s former manager.
Perez enjoyed his best ever season in Formula 1 last year, finishing third in the drivers’ standings with a career best points total of 305. Still, though, the feeling persists that he has to do more to prove that he is the ideal partner to Verstappen at Red Bull.
The Dutchman won 15 races compared to the two victories taken by Perez, and scored 149 points more in the same machinery. Furthermore, their row after the Brazilian Grand Prix was a sign that not all appears to be well between them.
“But he will soon have to step up a gear. And I think he knows that too. Red Bull was very strong last year, but if the competition is closer next season, it will be even more important for the team to have two drivers at the front.”
Not wanting to sound too harsh on his former client, Fernandez went on to point out that most drivers would do well to come even close to Verstappen. He added: “Max is just on a different level. He is of the calibre of Senna, Schumacher and Hamilton. I believe in Checo’s abilities, but to get to that level, he will have to take a big step.
“Max is virtually untouchable at the moment. He hardly makes mistakes. And if something unexpectedly goes wrong, he still knows how to overcome that setback… when you have someone next to you who is as strong as Max and always fast like him from the first lap, it is quite intimidating.”