Ferrari boss claims Sergio Perez could ‘easily’ become 100 points ahead of Max Verstappen

Despite dominating the opening two races of the season, Red Bull has been plagued by reliability concerns that could halt its title charge.

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez traded victories in Bahrain and Jeddah, as they guided Red Bull to consecutive 1-2 victories, far ahead of the rest of the grid.

The dominance from the Red Bull duo has sparked fears among other teams in the paddock that Red Bull could scoop victory in every race of the season, wrapping up both the Constructors’ Championship and Drivers’ Championship with ease.

Despite Red Bull’s strength, there appears to be unhappiness in the team’s garage over the car’s reliability, with mechanical challenges seemingly the only issue that could derail their title hopes.

“The whole feeling in the team, everyone is happy,” Verstappen said. “But personally, I’m not happy.

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“I’m not here to be second and when it looks like it’s going to just be between two cars, we have to make sure that the two cars are reliable,” he added.

Perez has raised similar fears that his car could struggle with reliability, costing him and the team valuable points, having felt “strange vibrations” during the race in Saudi.

“Obviously what happened to Max was in the back of my mind and I’m sure the back of the mind of the team as well,” he explained.

“It’s going to hit us at some point,” Perez said.

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“Even in Bahrain, if we had to push to the end, we probably would have made it. So there are a lot of reliability concerns at the moment…We’ve had a lot of mechanical issues.”

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“The biggest moment of concern was when Max told us he heard a loud noise. We immediately started thinking about the driveshaft problem from the day before,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner admitted. 

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur agreed that reliability could be the decider in this year’s title race, not just against other teams but internally within Red Bull.

“Imagine now that Perez wins two more races and Verstappen retires. A gearbox fails and he gets a penalty for the next one,” Vasseur explained.  

“After Monaco, Perez is then 100 points ahead of Verstappen. These situations can happen.”