Sergio Perez sends Max Verstappen a warning

Four of Sergio Pérez's five Formula 1 victories have come at street circuits, with the one outlier being his win at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.

After claiming his fifth Formula 1 grand prix victory, Sergio Pérez has sent team-mate Max Verstappen a warning that he’s “here to fight”, with all signs pointing towards a title battle between Pérez and Verstappen.

Pérez was exceptional at last weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and secured a perfect victory, with the Mexican having started on pole.

Despite being overtaken by Fernando Alonso on the first lap, Pérez quickly regained the lead and remained there, despite a late push from Verstappen.

The reigning world champion breezed from 15th to second in rapid fashion but had no answer to Checo’s consistent pace, with the Mexican having had an answer to whatever Verstappen tried to throw at him.

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Following their 1-2 finish, just a point separates the pair in the championship, with the Dutchman narrowly remaining in the lead.

“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.”

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There is absolutely no doubt that nobody has an answer to Red Bull’s sensational RB19, with Pérez and Verstappen having several tenths over the entire field.

Despite this, the duo continued to push hard in the closing laps, something Pérez believes wasn’t “necessary”.

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

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

The duo both asked the team in the closing laps what the fastest lap was, with the pair having both wanted the additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race.

Up until the fastest lap, Pérez held the fastest lap, only for Verstappen to snatch it on the last lap of the race.

Had Verstappen not set the fastest lap, then Pérez would’ve moved into the lead of the drivers’ championship.

There was some confusion after the race, with Pérez having seemingly been surprised to see Red Bull allow Verstappen to set the fastest lap.

It resulted in an awkward conversation in the cooldown room, with some having questioned if Verstappen tricked Pérez.

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has since revealed that both drivers were given the opportunity to set the fastest lap and that Pérez simply “couldn’t react” to Verstappen’s attempt on the final lap.

The internal communication was that both asked who had the fastest lap,” said Marko. “We passed it on and gave no order not to do it.

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“Max waited until the end so while he didn’t trick Checo, it was tactically very well done. Perez just couldn’t react.

“We couldn’t control that,” Marko told ORF.

“That’s just Max. For him, it was for the lead in the world championship.”