Purple Bull’s Helmut Marko felt that each drivers, Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen, have been equals on the Australian Grand Prix.
Over the earlier three seasons, Verstappen has been in a position to firmly set up himself because the lead driver at Purple Bull, with the issue for the workforce being discovering a driver who might come near the extent which the Dutchman was acting at.
In 2021, Perez’s first season with the workforce, that development confirmed little signal of adjusting, however following the most important regulatory shift in System 1 for 2022, Perez has doubtless upped his sport.
The Mexican racer claimed pole for the primary time in his profession on the second spherical of the season in Saudi Arabia, controlling that race within the early levels earlier than dropping out terribly when the Security Automotive was deployed, whereas the Australian GP was then one other strong displaying.
He would qualify P3, one place behind and inside a tenth of Verstappen, earlier than selecting up 18 factors for a P2 end within the race following Verstappen’s retirement whereas operating in that place.
Marko was pleased with how Perez carried out, saying he delivered the sort of race anticipated of him shifting ahead.
However the best praise got here when Marko described Perez as Verstappen’s equal at Albert Park.
“Checo drove an ideal race, he was on par with Max,” Marko advised ORF, as quoted by Speedweek.com.
“He misplaced a place firstly as a result of [Lewis] Hamilton made a sensational begin, he had a little bit slip there, however he confirmed a great race and we anticipate the identical from him.”
Marko acknowledged that Perez has proven an enchancment in qualifying in addition to now being within the combine come race day, which historically has been extra Perez’s sturdy go well with.
So, whereas Marko would have cherished to safe that P2 and P3 end in Melbourne, he was completely satisfied to see Perez declare P2 to restrict the injury as finest he might.
“He has improved lots this yr in qualifying and within the race he’s additionally there,” Marko defined.
“Really, we must always have gotten at the very least second and third locations. However we’re completely satisfied that Checo completed second.”
Purple Bull principal Christian Horner stated that Perez deserved “a whole lot of credit score” for his efficiency, particularly because the Security Automotive had not been type to him once more in Australia, permitting Mercedes’ George Russell to leap him with a ‘free cease’.
However like he did with Hamilton earlier within the race, Perez was in a position to cross the opposite Mercedes of Russell for what changed into a P2 end.
“Checo deserves a whole lot of credit score as a result of he was unfortunate once more with the Security Automotive timing,” stated Horner.
“However he made the mandatory progress and completed second. He handed Lewis Hamilton with a powerful manoeuvre after which needed to overtake George as properly.”