Charles Leclerc believes it’s “impossible” for those not working for Red Bull to truly understand why Max Verstappen is so much quicker than Sergio Perez, at virtually every Grand Prix.
Since having won two of the opening four races, Perez has often found himself well down on Verstappen’s pace, despite having equal machinery.
As a result, the Mexican has slipped to 125 points behind the reigning World Champion in the Drivers’ Championship, realistically ending his chances of title glory.
Verstappen is simply unbeatable currently, with the Dutchman having won the last eight races and 10 in total for 2023.
Victory at the Dutch Grand Prix this weekend would actually see Verstappen match Sebastian Vettel’s record for nine consecutive wins, a record most expect the Dutchman to eclipse.
The way in which he’s gotten so much more pace out of the RB19 than Perez has confused many though, none more so than Leclerc.
Leclerc admits he doesn’t have the “full picture of the situation”, but that Perez’s deficit to Verstappen is bigger than he “expected”.
“I think Max is a great driver, but at the same time, there are many who cannot explain such a wide margin between him and Checo,” Leclerc told the Italian version of Motorsport.com.
“Personally, I think it is impossible to read the situation well from the outside, only inside the team do they know exactly everything.
“At times the margin between Max and Checo was greater than I would have expected, but on the other hand, Verstappen is an incredible driver and it is probably very difficult to be alongside him. But again, I don’t have the full picture of the situation.”
Some have questioned if the cars aren’t the same, but Perez quashed any suggestions of this at the Hungarian Grand Prix recently.
The Mexican insists that what people are saying is “crazy”, with himself and Verstappen having the same machinery.
“The cars are the same,” the Mexican said via Mundo Deportivo.
“The team’s interest is to have both cars up there every race. It’s crazy what people are saying outside. There is a lot of speculation.”