Sergio Perez receives F1 legend's backing in battle against Max Verstappen
Sergio Perez has received the backing of F1 legend Emerson Fittipaldi in his battle against Max Verstappen this season.
With Red Bull miles ahead of everyone else in terms of performance, Perez could possibly be the only threat to Verstappen for the title this season. In the second race of the season, the Mexican was able to beat the Dutchman in a head-to-head battle.
After two races this season, Perez finds himself one point behind his teammate in the championship and many F1 pundits feel tension may rise between the two Red Bull drivers. F1 legend Emerson Fittipaldi has backed Sergio Perez in the battle against Verstappen. According to the Brazilian legend, Perez showed in Jeddah that he could take on and beat Max Verstappen in a straight fight.
Talking to Motorsport.com, Fittipaldi said:
"I think Checo has shown in Jeddah that he has the speed. At a certain point in the race, when Max was second and Checo was in the lead, Max tried to close the gap. But he did not succeed, because Checo was able to set a good pace."
"He showed himself to be a fast and tough racer at that time. I think he's a good driver. He is very mature and very experienced. It would be great for the fans to see those two fight for the championship."
Sergio Perez too inconsistent to win the title: Felipe Massa
Former Ferrari driver Felipe feels Sergio Perez is not a contender for the title as the Mexican suffers from inconsistency over the course of a season. Talking about possible challengers to Max Verstappen, Massa singled out drivers like Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton but felt that drivers like Sainz and Perez were just too inconsistent to challenge for the title.
He told Bild:
"Like Max and Lewis, Charles is an exceptional driver. He is currently the biggest title challenger for Red Bull. The Brazilian was, however, damning when addressing Perez's title aspirations. Their second driver, Sergio Pérez, is too inconsistent. Just like Carlos Sainz from Ferrari."
Sergio Perez is only one point behind Verstappen in the championship after two races this season. However, it cannot be denied that the reason why Perez won the second race of the season was that Verstappen had encountered a reliability issue in qualifying. If that had not happened, there was a strong possibility of Verstappen winning the race in Jeddah as well.
Can Sergio Perez challenge for the title with Max Verstappen as his teammate? Only time will tell, but this does set up an interesting storyline heading into the third race of the season.