Sergio Pérez should either accept that he is Red Bull’s number two driver behind Max Verstappen or leave the team, according to David Coulthard. The former Red Bull star said Perez “always didn’t deliver” compared to Verstappen, so he should accept that he has to play second fiddle.
Coulthard even claimed that the Mexican owes Red Bull for giving him the chance to return when it looked like his F1 career was over at the end of 2020. He said: “Checo was out of Formula 1 with no one knocking on his door. Red Bull gave him a chance to come back and a car that is nailed to win races.
“He’s had a good whiplash to try to beat Max, and he hasn’t always been at the same level. He’s occasionally done it, and I admire the wins he’s had.” And he added: “If Checo doesn’t like it, then he can leave the team, but where does he go? So for me, it’s just another one of those sporting decisions.”
Red Bull has been embroiled in a dispute since Verstappen ignored the team’s requests last weekend.
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Verstappen was asked to let Perez pass on the last lap in Sao Paulo, but the request was denied. The team wanted Perez to score more points to arrive in Abu Dhabi with a lead over Charles Leclerc as the two battled for P2 in the Drivers’ Championship.
After the race, the Dutchman responded to his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase over the team radio, stating that he had his reasons for not following instructions. Pérez criticized Verstappen after the race, claiming that the incident showed who he really was.
Christian Honer has tried to defuse the situation, as he claimed that the couple had discussed the issue internally. However, the team principal has refused to elaborate on Verstappen’s reasons for the switch despite rumors that it stemmed from an incident between the pair at the Monaco Grand Prix.
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Coulthard continued to defend Verstappen, claiming that the arguments were part of the elite drivers’ mentality. He told Mirror Sport: “The reality is that Max is one of the elite drivers in the world. Elite drivers like the Schumachers and Senna did not go through their careers without examples of clashes and disagreements with their teams.
“That’s part of their DNA and part of what makes them successful. To use a Jerry Maguire phrase, ‘it’s not the friends of show business, it’s show business’.”
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