Sergio Perez accuses Max Verstappen of making them both risk retirement

Sergio Perez victory in Saudi Arabia was his fourth win at a street circuit and also his fourth for Red Bull.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix winner Sergio Perez has criticised Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen for having “pushed more than necessary”, with both drivers having risked retirement as a result.

Pérez drove brilliantly from pole at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit on Sunday, with the Mexican having quickly regained the lead after being overtaken by Fernando Alonso on the opening lap.

Once back in the lead, the Mexican controlled the race beautifully; however, he was left unhappy in the closing stages of the second round of the 2023 F1 season.

Pérez had Verstappen behind him for the entirety of the second half of the race, after the Dutchman cruised from 15th to second in the opening 25 laps of the race.

READ: Fans gobsmacked by Max Verstappen’s overtake on George Russell

Interestingly, both Pérez and Verstappen continued to push ridiculously hard, despite a comfortable 1-2 having been assured thanks to their pace advantage.

Red Bull attempted to control the duo but there was seemingly no way of slowing them down, with Verstappen having wanted to take the lead.

The Dutchman continued to push right to the end of the race, with the reigning world champion having set the fastest lap on the final lap of the race.

Pérez isn’t a fan of how the duo “both pushed” at the end of the race and the unnecessary stress it put on the car, something which will likely be discussed amongst the team ahead of next weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.

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“I’m here to fight,” Pérez told Sky Deutschland, when asked if he can win the title this season.

“That’s the only reason why I’m here.

“It was close in Bahrain and it was the same here. There are small margins between us.”

“We both pushed more than was necessary,” admitted Checo.

“The car would have been put under less stress.”

Verstappen snatching the fastest lap from Pérez on the final lap resulted in an awkward conversation between the duo in the cooldown room after the race, with Pérez having been unhappy to have been told by the team to set times slower than the Dutchman’s.

READ: George Russell claims Mercedes are holding back some performance

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko discussed Verstappen’s fastest lap attempt after the race and admitted that he “was uncontrollable”, but that both drivers were allowed to give it a go.

“Typical Max on the last lap with the fastest race lap,” Marko told Austrian broadcaster ORF. “That was uncontrollable. That’s just Max.

“Both were constantly asking who had the fastest lap and Max waited until the last lap so Perez couldn’t counter. It means the lead in the world championship for him. We are very satisfied with the race.”