'Meticulous' Max Verstappen won’t lend any favors to Sergio Perez in battle for P2 against Lewis Hamilton, says F1 pundit
F1 presenter Natalie Pinkham feels Max Verstappen would not be gifting Sergio Perez a victory this season to help him in his potential fight for a P2 finish in the drivers' standings.
As dominant a season that Red Bull and Max Verstappen have been having in 2023, their second driver Sergio Perez almost seems to be driving a different car because of the difference he has against his teammate. Initially, his wins in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan looked promising enough that he was considered to be one of the only contenders for the world championship against Verstappen. But with races that took place later, the Mexican kept losing, and the best he managed to finish was P2, that too, not on many occasions.
With not many races remaining in the season, Sergio Perez is under threat from Lewis Hamilton for the second place in the championship, and as it happened last year against Charles Leclerc, he might again finish in third place. However, with Max Verstappen almost on the brink of winning another world championship, it is possible that Red Bull might ask him to slow down in a future race to help Checo win and keep that place, but that might not happen according to Natalie Pinkham, as she spoke on the latest episode of the F1 Nation podcast.
"I think the whole point of why Red Bull has been so dominant this season and Max, there’s a ruthless streak in both Max and Christian Horner."
"They’re hugely competitive people, they’re meticulous, they’re thorough, they have an incredible work ethic but crucially, there is that ruthless streak, which winners need and it isn’t about having empathy for who finishes second."
Former F1 driver feels Max Verstappen wouldn't give away a victory to help Checo
Sergio Perez's assist during the 2021 season to help Max Verstappen win his maiden title was one of the most amazing pieces of teamwork that was seen in Formula 1. However, former F1 driver Pedro de la Rosa feels that the Dutchman wouldn't return the favor by losing races.
According to the pundit, helping a teammate is worth it till the driver is still able to win races, but losing out purposely, just to assist your teammate, doesn't look good for the team; and wouldn't look good for Max Verstappen. In his words,
"It very much depends if helping your teammate means that you are going to keep winning, that’s fine. But if you’re going to give away wins, just for the sake of helping your teammate it isn’t good for the team. It’s not good for Max. It’s not good for anyone."
De la Rosa further mentioned that Red Bull has already secured the constructor's championship, and Max Verstappen will inevitably capture his third world championship, so would there be a need for them to keep winning? Despite this, there is another thought, according to him, which is what importance the team gives to a P2 finish. If it wouldn't be very important, then the team would rather let Verstappen win the races without sacrificing them for Checo.