Marko Reveals How He Expects Sergio Perez To Perform Against Verstappen

F1 fans are hopeful that Sergio Perez will help Max Verstappen and Red Bull take the fight to Mercedes at the front. - Alex Albon and Sergio Perez Red Bull

The last three second drivers at Red Bull – namely Daniil Kvyat, Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon – failed to match Max Verstappen in equal machinery, but, given how Sergio Perez performed last season, it is expected that the Mexican should be at least able to serve as a reliable rear-gunner for the Dutch ace.

Giving his thoughts on how he thinks Perez will fare against Verstappen next year, Helmut Marko, the head of Red Bull’s driver development programme, said he expects the pair to be fairly evenly matched in terms of race pace.

READ: Daniel Ricciardo: It’s Difficult To Say Whether George Russell Or Pierre Gasly Is Better

“Perez should be within shooting distance of Max in the race and we’ll see in qualifying. Nobody has been able to reach Max’s level there yet,” Marko told

“There should be a maximum difference of two tenths, because as a team we need to be able to attack Mercedes with two drivers.

“If [Valtteri] Bottas is not having a very bad day as he did in Bahrain, then he is fulfilling his role very well. That is what we expect from Perez.”

The Austrian also stressed that their decision to sign Perez was solely motivated by what is best for the team, as they are looking to close the gap to Mercedes in 2021 in addition to defending against resurgent teams like McLaren and Ferrari.

”For us it was never about which duo would work well together, but what would be best for the team.

“McLaren, Renault and Ferrari will be there next year, so we need a strong driver duo to become World Champions. You need those drivers to have a good strategy during the race.”

Article continues below

He added that Alex Albon would have been retained if he managed to string together solid drives on a more consistent basis:

”Had he done so constantly [driven well like in Abu Dhabi], we would never have had to have a discussion [about replacing him].

“After his third place in Mugello we thought the spell had broken, but then there was another bad weekend in Sochi.”

READ: ‘Give Me Adrian Newey & We Don’t Need The Best Driver To Win’