‘Is that cruel?’: Helmut Marko reacts to Sergio Perez’s planned 2023 title bid

Max Verstappen has now won two drivers’ championships in a row for Red Bull.

Sergio Perez has recently suggested that after a period of adaptation to Red Bull, he feels that next year he will finally be ready to challenge his teammate Max Verstappen for the championship.

Being the Dutchman’s teammate is never easy, with Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon all struggling when paired with Verstappen, with the latter two only lasting for short periods at the team.

Helmut Marko has now said that it is part of his job to remind the drivers who take on the task of beating Verstappen, that it is impossible, even his own teammates.

“At some stage, you have to recognise there is someone who is special and it’s just not possible to beat him,” he suggested.

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“It’s my job to make them understand that. Is that cruel? I don’t think so.”

The Austrian has said that is it pointless trying to find a way to beat Verstappen, with all his ex-teammates trying and failing to find a way to adapt their styles and set ups to gain an advantage.

“They compare their car with his. ‘Do I have the same material?’ They think ‘how can I overcome him?’

“They can’t, so they then try to change the set up of the car or adapt their driving style.

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“Of course, you can’t accept that you are simply not as good as him,” Marko concluded.

Verstappen has racing in his blood, with his father Jos Verstappen being an F1 driver himself, and Marko believes that his father’s harsher methods of training his son have paid dividends, making him unstoppable in certain conditions.

“To have Max as a teammate is not a nice part of your career. Max is so special. He was trained in a very rough way by his father, but very successfully.

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“For example, when he was less than 10 years old, they were in Italy and as soon as it started raining, all the other drivers went to the cafeteria for a coffee or a cake. Max had to stay out, sometimes with frozen fingers,” he told the media.

“That’s why he’s so good in the rain. He can adapt immediately.”

Perez has so far been the most successful of Verstappen’s teammate, now going into his third season, but the Mexican has said he no longer wants to play the wingman role, and next year plans to mount a genuine title challenge, building on his improved form in the 2022 season.