Max Verstappen and Co. ‘surprised’ by Sergio Perez’s pace in Jeddah, according to Martin Brundle

Martin Brundle feels Team Max Verstappen would have been annoyed to see Sergio Perez match his pace in Jeddah.

In the second race of the 2023 F1 season, Max Verstappen was forced to start from P15 after a driveshaft failure in qualifying.

At the halfway stage of the race, with the help of a safety car, the Dutch driver found himself five seconds behind Sergio Perez. The Mexican, however, was able to keep pace with his teammate and came home as the victor.

In his post-race column in Sky Sports, Martin Brundle wrote that the Mexican’s speed would not have gone down well in the Verstappen camp. He wrote:

“Perez out front matched whatever his team-mate Verstappen could muster speed-wise and duly won the race in fine style. His fifth victory, four of which have been on street circuits – but more significantly his first victory when Max was second.”

Brundle added that Max Verstappen’s pace on the final tour would have annoyed Perez, as he wrote:

“Verstappen stole the fastest lap championship point on the final tour and that clearly annoyed Perez, who was surprised the team didn’t call off the fight when they had a one-two easily in the bag and he was suffering with a longer brake pedal, and unbeknownst to him, Max was feeling a vibration in his transmission.”

He added:

“Team Verstappen were perhaps surprised that Perez could match their pace, and they were no doubt annoyed that it was ultimately the qualifying car issue which prevented Max setting a new record of 16 victories in 21 races.”

Max Verstappen-Sergio Perez rift rumors continue to grow

Rumors of a potential rift between Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen have continued to grow since the race in Jaddah. There have been reports of the Mexican deleting a tweet in which he mentioned:

“I want to be champion.”

Then there have been reports of how Jos Verstappen did not congratulate Sergio Perez in Parc Ferme while every other member of the Red Bull team did. In the last two years of the partnership between the two drivers, Max has had a handle on Perez. There hasn’t been much competition between the two drivers and to an extent Perez has played a supporting role for Max on many occasions.

This season, however, roles could change as looking at how dominant Red Bull are, Verstappen’s only challenger will be Perez. Does that mean he takes over the role of the adversary? Possibly yes, but then we’ll have to wait for a few races to see if that is even a possibility.

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