Sergio Perez confident he can beat Max Verstappen to F1 title – ‘I’ve shown that’

Sergio Perez extends contract with Red Bull Racing until 2024

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Sergio Perez has claimed he can beat Max Verstappen in F1 but needs more consistency to challenge for the title. The Mexican claims he has already shown he can beat his reigning world champion team-mate “several times this season”.

However, he acknowledges beating him over a couple of weekends isn’t enough and admitted he needed to finish ahead of him more often to challenge. Earlier this season, Perez looked like a genuine title threat to Verstappen after enjoying a resurgent start to the campaign.

After Perez secured victory at the Monaco Grand Prix he moved to within 15 points of his team-mate. Perez said: “I can beat anyone in Formula One, including Max.

“I’ve shown that several times this season, although unfortunately, that isn’t enough to be certain of success. Max has incredible quality, he’s extremely calm for his age and has a very good feeling for the car. That’s why the question isn’t whether I can beat him in one weekend, but how many races I can finish ahead of him. It’s about consistency.

“That’s what makes a champion.”

Verstappen’s camp appeared genuinely worried about the threat, with Max’s dad Jos slamming Red Bull for not helping to get the Dutchman to the front. The situation forced Christian Horner to openly declare that the team had no preference and that either driver could win the world championship.

However, since the Canadian Grand Prix Perez’s title hunt has all but evaporated after a series of issues. He failed to finish in Montreal after a mechanical failure and was also forced out of the Austrian Grand Prix.

He also lacked pace compared to Verstappen in recent weekends with fourth and fifth place finishes in France and Hungary.

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Perez claimed the team’s changes have been partly to blame with the car now favouring Verstappen. He explained: “At the beginning of the season I felt very good in the car, but then we developed it some more and it no longer suits my driving style 100 per cent.

“I have to adapt now because it currently suits Max better, and hope that we’ll go more in the direction we had at the start of the season. Then I can really attack again. But if I wasn’t in such a top car, I probably wouldn’t be in this sport anymore.”

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