July 23, 2024

Despite finishing first and second for Red Bull in the Bahrain Grand Prix, Max Verstappen has ignored Sergio Perez.

The current world champion Max Verstappen has brutally written off the possibility that teammate Sergio Perez will try to stop him from winning the Formula One championship four times in a row. The two continued their 2023 partnership at the weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, where the Dutchman won handily and Perez finished in second place.

That came after they finished first and second in the drivers’ standings during the previous campaign, despite a huge 290-point disparity between them. Furthermore, there is already a belief among commentators and supporters that Red Bull is the only team that can seriously challenge Verstappen this time around due to the team’s faster pace than the others, as demonstrated in the Middle East.

When asked who he thought would be winning the race in 2024, the 26-year-old neglected to bring up his three-year driving partner. “Lewis (Hamilton) followed by Charles (Leclerc) and me,” he stated to Viaplay.

Perez’s four-year contract with Red Bull is coming to an end, and it is anticipated that he will be released. Though Helmut Marko, the team advisor, did allude to a potential new offer for 2026, depending on the 34-year-old’sform.

Verstappen’s brutal remark, however, raises the possibility of escalating already high tensions between the two after their 2022 public altercation. Verstappen, who was already certain to win the world championship, defied orders from his teammates to give up a spot to Perez at the Brazilian Grand Prix, where he was competing with Leclerc for second place overall.

His displeasure over an incident during qualifying in Monaco earlier in the season seemed to be the reason for his defiance. Perez’s late-season crash in Q3 effectively created a roadblock, resulting in the session being red-flagged.

Verstappen consequently qualified fourth on the grid, one position behind Perez. He responded by subtly criticizing his teammate for what he had done, but he refrained from suggesting that the crash was intentional.

And the previous season clearly showed the tension. Perez looked as though Verstappen’s father Jos ignored him as he celebrated winning the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix outside the team garage.

This weekend, Formula One returns to Jeddah, where Red Bull is once again predicted to be the leading team. However, Leclerc and Hamilton, who placed fourth and seventh in Bahrain, respectively, will be looking to improve.

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