Verstappen has since said he hopes that Perez will help Red Bull take the fight to Mercedes, but he is also keen on ensuring he remains the team’s number one driver.
“In the end I beat everyone, and that’s good,” Max Verstappen said in an interview with Ziggo Sport.
“As my father always says, you have to destroy your teammate.
“Of course, you have to be faster than your teammate. I know that Sergio is aiming for the same.
“I think that’s good, because it’s the only way to bring the team forward with both cars, as was the case at Red Bull with Daniel [Ricciardo],” Verstappen added.
Meanwhile, Helmut Marko, a senior Red Bull advisor, outlined one of the reasons why they signed Sergio Perez over Nico Hulkenberg and said it is difficult to gauge how Perez will fare against Verstappen at this point.
“We’ll only know how good our driver pairing is compared to Hamilton-Bottas once he gets in our car,” Marko said.
“But Perez’s form curve in the second half of last year was a steep upward trend. He always puts himself in a good position and has a good feel for the car and the race.
“Perez was also able to prove himself throughout the season, which was not the case with Hulkenberg,” the Austrian added.