Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez labelled ‘sidekicks’ in Verstappen and Charles Leclerc fight

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A FORMER F1 world champion has assessed the roles he believes Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz have now adopted this season

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Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez have been dubbed ‘sidekicks’ and members of the supporting forged in Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc’s title struggle. The Spaniard completed 5 seconds behind his Ferrari teammate in second in Sunday’s Miami GP, whereas the Mexican crossed the road fourth behind his Purple Bull counterpart.

Neither Sainz or Perez have gained a race up to now this season, with their highest end being P2, behind both one of many championship leaders. Final season we witnessed Perez and Valtteri Bottas rapidly play second fiddle to teammates Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton as they battled it out for the world championship.

In his column, 1997 F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve described Perez and Sainz as drivers at the moment incapable of combating for the crown. “Carlos Sainz and Sergio Pérez – let’s name them the sidekicks – can win races. However they aren’t but on the degree of the respective quantity 1s,” he wrote.

“Within the final two races, Max has actually proven that he deserved the title. A automotive can at all times break down, however other than that, he’s at all times competing for the win. He drives virtually flawlessly, and when he makes an error, he corrects it. He drives on the peak of his talents, on the sting.

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Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez labelled 'sidekicks' in Verstappen and Charles Leclerc fight

Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez have been labelled ‘sidekicks’ to Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc (Picture: GETTY)

“He makes one of the best of what he can management. There has not been a single race during which he’s given lower than one of the best – we noticed that once more in Miami.” He added: “In any case, this result’s good for the championship. We’ve got two groups up entrance that are combating it out and are very shut to one another. 

“They every have a frontrunner who will not be decided by the workforce however merely on the observe. Verstappen and Leclerc have turn out to be #1 in a pure manner. Purple Bull and Ferrari will decide about that sooner or later, however as a complete, each groups are fairly balanced.”

The previous Williams racer additionally took intention at Hamilton for his poor begin to the season, labelling him ‘bitter’ and claimed the seven-time champion is making an attempt to cease himself from ‘drowning.’ “I believe now we have seen the ultimate altering of the guard at Mercedes. George Russell is using the wave, Lewis Hamilton is making an attempt to not drown,” he added.

DON’T MISSMax Verstappen joined elite F1 group with Miami GP win however is effectively behind Lewis HamiltonChristian Horner expects Verstappen title problem to ‘boil over’ like Hamilton struggleSergio Perez left pissed off by Purple Bull issues after newest setback at Miami Grand Prix

Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez labelled 'sidekicks' in Verstappen and Charles Leclerc fight

Verstappen and Leclerc have dominated the 2022 F1 season up to now (Picture: GETTY)

“After a few years of successful with out competitors, it’s onerous to get up and realise it’s not that simple. He now has to drive like he did in his first two years in Formulation 1, which is what Russell is doing now.”

The Mercedes driver was upbeat following his sixth-place end in Miami on Sunday, marking an unlimited enchancment on the Imola catastrophe. Reviewing how his time in America went, on Monday evening Hamilton reached out to his 28 million Instagram followers with an upbeat message: “Reflecting on Miami. 

“We picked up some good factors for the workforce, and once more what an incredible drive from George Russell. General it is a good signal that we’re transferring in the correct course. We nonetheless have some snags to kind out, however I am assured the workforce will pull via. They at all times do.”

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