‘Max should try to apply Sergio’s driving style’ after being outperformed by Perez

Sergio Perez won the Monaco Grand Prix last weekend ahead of Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen.

Former Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher does not believe that Sergio Perez has the consistency to compete with Max Verstappen for the championship, but affirms that there are still things the Dutchman can learn from his team-mate.

Perez took an exceptional victory in Monaco having started third on the grid, and a masterful strategy from Red Bull saw the Mexican beat Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz to victory.

Verstappen was out-qualified for only the second time this year by Perez, and spent most of the weekend trying to find a rhythm around the streets of Monte Carlo.

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He too, however, benefitted from the work on the Red Bull pit wall as well as a comedy of errors from the Scuderia to end up ahead of Charles Leclerc in third.

The 32-year-old’s victory leaves him 15 points behind Verstappen in third in the Drivers’ Championship and, while Schumacher does not rule out the possibility of a three-way title fight, he is not sure Perez can sustain a title challenge against the reigning champion.

“He [Perez] has come close to Verstappen and Charles Leclerc in the drivers’ standings as a result,” he said.

“There could be a three-man fight. I just don’t think Sergio has the consistency of Verstappen. In Monaco he was the better driver. Max should see this as an opportunity to learn things from his teammate.”

However, there are one or two pointers that the German believes Verstappen could take from Perez’s performance last weekend.

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“Max has a very aggressive style and has done well with heavier cars in the past. However, the new concept suits Sergio more,” explained Schumacher.

“If a driver is good at saving tyres, he can get more out of the car. Max should try to apply Sergio’s driving style to certain parts of the track and maybe take one or two corners a little slower.”

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The last time Red Bull had both drivers win a race in a single season before last year was in 2018 when Daniel Ricciardo joined Verstappen on the winners list.

Between 2014 and 2020 – the years of utter dominance for Mercedes – the Milton Keynes side took just 17 race wins with a combination of Ricciardo and Verstappen.

A lot of the time, they needed to be smart with their strategy in order to pip the Silver Arrows to the post, and this is something Schumacher reckons is paying dividends for them now.

“This is a situation they haven’t had for a number of years,” he added. 

“Red Bull has actually learned a lot in the last few years because of the tough battle with Mercedes. They were always very strong strategically, Red Bull is benefiting from that now.”

Red Bull’s 40-point haul in the Principality now leaves them 36 points clear of Ferrari at the top of the Constructors’ Championship.