Max Verstappen refutes Sergio Perez accusation

Red Bull have been accused of designing their cars in favour of Max Verstappen, rather than Sergio Perez.

Max Verstappen has stressed that Red Bull don’t design their car purely to suit him, despite claims made last year by Sergio Perez’s father.

The Dutchman was consistently able to extract more performance from the RB19 on his way to his third consecutive Drivers’ Championship, leading to suggestions that the car was designed for him, rather than Perez.

Of Red Bull’s 21 wins in 2023, a staggering 19 of them were claimed by Verstappen, in what was the most dominant season in the history of F1 by a driver.

Perez ended last year a ridiculous 290 points behind the 26-year-old, which was still enough for second in the Drivers’ Championship.

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According to the Mexican’s father, finishing second is what “he was hired for” as Red Bull build their cars to suit Verstappen’s driving style.

“The car is set for Max because he drives with all the grip at the front and Checo has done it all the time with the grip at the back,” Perez’s father said last year, as per The Express. “The position Checo is in is the one he was hired for, second place.

“There is only one champion and you have to understand that. He has to work for it and respect it. All this was built for Max to be a champion and you have to understand and respect it. If he moved to another team he could be fourth or sixth.”

Verstappen has always denied claims of Red Bull designing the car specifically for him, with the Dutch driver insisting that he is simply able to “adapt to certain situations”.

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The 54-time race winner has insisted that the Milton Keynes-based side just introduce upgrades to make the car faster in general, without considering a specific driving style.

“When people ask you: ‘What is your driving style?’, I can’t tell you because it’s about being able to adapt to certain situations or what the car likes as well,” Verstappen told

“What do I want? I want more grip. There’s a lot of things that you want, some things are not realistic. So, I just adapt to the car that I get given. Throughout the year, the team just applies upgrades to the car to make it faster. Not to try and follow a certain balance direction or whatever.

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“It’s just overall load, overall grip, that you gain from upgrades. I’m quite happy with the behaviour of the car, but if the car is a little bit more understeery I have to adapt my driving to that. Or if it’s more oversteery it’s the same way.”

Interestingly, Perez was able to perform at a similar level to Verstappen in the opening rounds of last season, before he became significantly slower than his teammate when Red Bull started to upgrade the car.

Some believe the upgrades were designed to increase Verstappen’s confidence in the car but even Perez himself has informed the media that at no point did Red Bull introduce a part specifically for the reigning World Champion.