Ex-F1 Driver Tips Sergio Perez to Put Verstappen ‘on Edge’ at Red Bull

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Sergio Perez is on ‘cloud nine’ right now. However, when Racing Point told him of their decision to replace him with Sebastian Vettel, he must have been gutted.

No disrespect to his ability, but Perez would have never imagined moving to an even more competitive team which is a front-runner and a strong contender.

Former Caterham driver, Giedo van der Garde, competed alongside the Mexican in GP2 back in 2010. So, he is a good reference point to identify Perez’s talents.

Van der Garde confirms belief about Perez’s driving style

Perez got the better of him by scoring 32 more points than him. While they evenly matched in qualifying, he outclassed him in races. This left Van der Garde stunned.

Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – December 6, 2020 Racing Point’s Sergio Perez in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

“A good guy and a hard worker. I saw that in GP2 too. There he made the difference, especially in the races. In qualifying he was okay, but I was sometimes quite a bit faster, only then he sometimes had those races where he passed you and you thought ‘how’?” – said Van Der Garde.

“I think it’s mainly in his driving technique. He’s not the type that in one round–bang!–gets everything out,” he added.

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Sergio Perez will keep Verstappen on the edge at Red Bull

SPA, BELGIUM – AUGUST 28: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner talk in the garage during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 28, 2020 in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images,)

Max has never had any real threat at Red Bull since Daniel Ricciardo left. However, Giedo believes his former teammate will keep Max on his toes. “I think Max will be put on edge by Pérez. At least in the races, because in qualifying he normally doesn’t really have a chance,” Giedo said further.

Not to forget that this gives the team an impetus to play around with strategies and pit calls, since they expect Perez to make life difficult for the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Bottas, too.

“That is only good because, with someone there, you can make strategic choices in the races in a duel with Mercedes. Last year, Max always had to do it alone, while Mercedes always had two men in the front.”

“With Pérez there, they can play [with strategies] more. That makes it an interesting battle,” Van der Garde added on the same.

Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – December 6, 2020 Racing Point’s Sergio Perez celebrates on the podium with the Mexican flag after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon

Fans can hope his spell with the notoriously demanding team does not turn into a nightmare. Hopefully, he turns up and performs the way many people are expecting him to perform next season.

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