Max Verstappen sent Sergio Perez warning due to Red Bull team-mate ‘closing the gap’

CHARLES LECLERC has set the early tempo on this 12 months’s title race, however F1 champion Max Verstappen should control different rivals as nicely.

Chris Evans says Max Verstappen must 'be a bit nicer'

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Max Verstappen has been warned that his Crimson Bull team-mate Sergio Perez is “closing the hole” and may very well be a rival for the championship this season. That declaration got here from Ralf Schumacher, who believes the Mexican appears to be like like a completely totally different racer in his RB18 this 12 months.

Perez loved a reasonably respectable debut 12 months with the crew in 2021, profitable in Baku and often scoring a good-looking variety of factors to assist Crimson Bull’s constructor’s title cost, though the crew did finally fall in need of that objective regardless of Verstappen’s drivers’ championship success.

However he by no means managed to compete very a lot with Verstappen, who was comfortably the crew’s major driver even when not formally so. It was comprehensible although, contemplating the Dutchman has been with the crew for a few years now and Perez needed to get used to his new environment.

The change in automotive laws has created one thing of a stage taking part in area, with each drivers needing to get used to the texture of the RB18. Verstappen once more was forward in Bahrain, however the Mexican discovered the tempo to out-qualify his team-mate by 1 / 4 of a second in Saudi Arabia.

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Max Verstappen sent Sergio Perez warning due to Red Bull team-mate 'closing the gap'

Sergio Perez is ‘closing the hole’ to Crimson Bull team-mate Max Verstappen this season (Picture: GETTY)

The defending champion got here via to win the race, with Perez slipping right down to fourth. Nevertheless, issues may need been very totally different had he not been hindered by an ill-timed Security Automobile interval which got here simply after he had pitted for brand spanking new tyres.

Schumacher, the youthful brother of the seven-time world champion Michael, has been impressed by the progress the Mexican has made. “At Crimson Bull, you possibly can see Perez is now nearer to Verstappen. Loads has modified there this season,” he wrote in his Sky Germany column.

“Perez had plenty of dangerous luck with the Security Automobile in Saudi Arabia. He was in entrance and had the tempo. Whether or not it will have been sufficient for victory, I am unsure. However he would definitely have completed on the rostrum.”

Max Verstappen sent Sergio Perez warning due to Red Bull team-mate 'closing the gap'

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez are Crimson Bull team-mates for a second season this 12 months (Picture: GETTY)

In the identical article, Schumacher turned his consideration to Verstappen and despatched one other warning to the Dutchman. He criticised the defending champion for his alternative of overtaking manoeuvres on Ferrari ace Charles Leclerc which, regardless of being thrilling for spectators, have been poorly judged and timed in his opinion.

“With Verstappen, it was noticeable in Jeddah that he tried to overhaul thrice earlier than Flip 27, though Leclerc was then all the time in a position to struggle again with DRS on the start-finish straight. That was incomprehensible to me,” the six-time F1 Grand Prix winner added.

“I used to be a bit stunned. I assumed Verstappen made an enormous step in the suitable path final 12 months with overtaking manoeuvres. In Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, he did not try this so nicely. Dr Helmut Marko stated Verstappen had deliberate it along with his engineer, however I assumed it was very unusual. In my view, he nonetheless has to do one thing to enhance as a result of he virtually ruined his tyres. That can be a mindless pressure on the tyres.”

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