Verstappen ‘tricks’ Perez to stay at the top of the standings

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March 21, 2023 (fire) 1:57 am

Max Verstappen (Red Bull) has ‘cheated’ his teammate Sergio Perez to keep his lead in the 2023 F1 World Drivers’ Championship.

●[2023 F1 Rownd 2 Meddyg Teulu Saudi Arabia]Official final race time difference, number of laps

With only two races to go this year, it is clear that the two Red Bull drivers will be in contention for the title within the team.

■ Perez, challenge the champion “I’m here to fight”

“I’m here to fight,” said Mexico’s Perez, who took pole position after Verstappen suffered a driveshaft problem in qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, winning the race from pole to win.

Despite Dutchman Verstappen’s de facto ‘number 1’ status and having won back-to-back titles in 2021 and 2022, he doubts that he can realistically aim for the world championship this season.

“That’s the only reason I’m here,” Perez claimed.

“In Bahrain it was close and it was the same here. There is a small margin between us.”

Aston Martin, Mercedes and Ferrari are clearly not in a position to challenge Red Bull yet, leaving Red Bull in an awkward position with the upper hand.

“Both of them pushed more than necessary,” admitted Perez, 33, who got out of the car sweaty after a night race in Jeddah.

“The car should have been able to run more smoothly.”

■ Red Bull’s concern is “reliability”

Indeed, if Red Bull has anything to worry about, its reliability.

“I don’t mind doing a recovery race (from the back),” Verstappen said after Sunday’s race.

“But when you’re fighting for the championship, especially when it looks like you’re fighting two cars, you have to check the reliability of both cars.”

Verstappen, 25, claimed he started to feel vibrations again from his drive shaft while chasing Perez for the win.

“So at some point it is more important to be comfortable in second place and the car to be right.”

■ Perez was told not to aim for the “fastest lap”…

However, if Verstappen had taken the checkered flag as it was, he would have gone into the next round in Melbourne with a point difference of zero to Perez. So, Perez and Verstappen, who want to lead even by one point, were hoping strongly to get one point from the fastest lap.

But Perez said he was told not to shoot.

“They told me to keep a steady pace because I had the fastest lap (already), so I thought I told Max the same.”

In reality, however, Verstappen set the fastest lap on the last lap to take a point from Perez and keep the championship lead by one point.

Rosberg: “Typical Max way”

2016 F1 world champion Nico Rosberg said:

“That’s typical Max, always trying to get the best of him.”

“But Christian Horner said[pennaeth y tîm]that Sergio has[Perez]the same opportunity.”

■ Dr. Helmut Marko “I didn’t cheat the Czech Republic”

Red Bull’s Helmut Marko said: “The communication within the team was asking both of them who had the fastest lap.”

“We took it and didn’t give instructions not to do it.”

“Max stayed until the end, so he wasn’t cheating the Czechs, but tactically it worked very well. Perez couldn’t react.”

“We couldn’t control it,” Marko told ORF.

“That’s just Max. For him it was to lead the world championships.”

Marko also revealed that Verstappen and Perez were asked to drive in a defensive manner amid reliability concerns.

“In the end the drivers followed our instructions quite well,” smiled Marko.





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Father Jos Verstappen says rivals can’t catch up with Red Bull F1








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