Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez’s relationship compared to Lionel Messi and his team-mate

Sergio Perez has partnered Max Verstappen at Red Bull since the 2021 season, after he was sacked by Racing Point.

Intriguing insights into Max Verstappen’s sentiments towards his Red Bull teammate, Sergio Perez, have emerged from the prolific writings of Italian sports journalist and author, Leo Turrini. 

Turrini’s motorsport blog subtly hints at Verstappen’s occasional frustration with Perez, while simultaneously showering praise on the double Formula 1 world champion.

Verstappen’s supremacy over Perez in the ongoing season has been undeniable, reflected by his commanding 125-point lead in the world championship standings. 

Despite his remarkable performance, the relationship between Verstappen and the Mexican driver has experienced fluctuations since their partnership began in 2021.

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Following a generally positive inaugural season together, reports suggest that Verstappen’s patience wore thin last year, particularly evident after the Monaco Grand Prix qualifying. 

On that occasion, Perez secured a provisional third place in qualifying but was subsequently involved in an incident, preventing Verstappen from improving upon his fourth-place position.

Another notable incident took place during the Brazilian Grand Prix, where Verstappen chose not to let Perez overtake him, a move that was perceived as obstructive in Perez’s quest for second place in the championship. 

Verstappen conveyed to the Red Bull team that he had valid reasons for his actions.

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Drawing a parallel between Verstappen’s dominance over Perez and legendary footballer Lionel Messi’s influence over an adversary, Turrini likened the situation to Messi’s encounter with footballer Leandro Paredes. 

Paredes’s tactics so provoked Messi during a Champions League game that it ignited a heated confrontation between the two players.

Turrini elaborated on the comparison, stating, “Verstappen’s relationship with Perez mirrors the dynamic between Messi and the former Juventus player Paredes.”

The journalist’s observations also paid tribute to Verstappen’s exceptional talent and accomplishments within Formula 1. 

Not only is Verstappen amassing records through his consistent achievements, but he is also celebrated for his innate skill and unwavering dedication to victory.

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Turrini underscored Verstappen’s extraordinary stature, noting, “Verstappen stands as an absolute phenomenon. 

“Disregarding this fact would be imprudent. While opinions about his personality may differ, his prowess as a driver is unequivocal.”

Concluding with high praise for the driver poised to clinch the 2023 world championship, Turrini affirmed, “Without question, Verstappen surpasses [Sergio] Perez, in addition to most of his contemporaries.”