‘People might think differently’: Sergio Perez on Max Verstappen ‘respect’

Mercedes, Ferrari, and Aston Martin are all expected to introduce major upgrades this weekend in Imola.

Sergio Perez believes the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari could play a part in his fight against Max Verstappen for the championship this season, should the two sides improve.

Mercedes could be set to improve as soon as this weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where the Germans will be introducing their new concept.

Whilst team principal Toto Wolff has tried to manage people’s expectations, many believe it to be the Germans final hope should they wish to be amongst the title fight, with Perez being aware of the impact it could have on his title chances.

Should Mercedes improve considerably in Imola, then Lewis Hamilton and George Russell could intervene in Perez’s title fight against Verstappen, something which could see the Mexican lose touch with his team-mate.

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Ferrari are also set to introduce several upgrades over the coming races as are Aston Martin, meaning Red Bull’s healthy advantage could suddenly take a significant hit.

As a result, Perez knows he can’t “make mistakes” going forward, given that it’ll become harder to fight through the field if the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari discover more pace.

“Yeah. The margins are very close, particularly on Saturdays,” Perez told RacingNews365.com.

“On Sunday, it depends a bit circuit to circuit, so it’s important not to make mistakes.”

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So far this season, Red Bull have been a country-mile ahead of everybody else, with the Austrians having claimed four 1-2 finishes from the opening five races.

They’re actually the only team to have won a race this season, something which has seen them build a 122-point lead in the Constructors’ Championship.

With Red Bull being so superior, the team have allowed Perez and Verstappen to fight, something they’re yet to really do whilst on the same strategy.

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Even if Mercedes or Ferrari do improve, Perez doesn’t see the team changing their approach anytime soon, with the 33-year-old believing that Red Bull will continue to let him fight Verstappen throughout the season.

“I think the level of respect between Max, myself, the engineers, is really high, although people might think differently, but it’s extremely high,” Perez said.

“And I’m sure that the team feels super confident to let us race as hard as we’ve been doing.”