Sergio Perez told to make Max Verstappen ‘doubt him’

Sergio Perez sits 53 points behind Max Verstappen ahead of this weekend's 2023 Canadian GP.

Four-time World Champion Alain Prost has warned Sergio Perez that beating Max Verstappen to this season’s title is an “almost impossible mission”, following his recent poor performances.

Perez was named as a championship contender following the opening five rounds of the season, where the Mexican was able to claim two victories.

He made a strong case in the opening few rounds to suggest that he could push his team-mate all the way; however, recent races have suggested that he doesn’t have the necessary consistency to defeat Verstappen.

The 33-year-old hasn’t claimed a rostrum since he finished second at the Miami Grand Prix, after he finished 16th in Monaco and fourth in Spain.

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With Verstappen having won both of those races, he’s extended his championship lead over Checo to 53 points, ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

Should Checo endure another below-par weekend, then he’ll likely be out of title contention, given that Verstappen has finished no lower than second all season.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner actually thinks the bigger points difference will encourage Perez to “take the pressure off him”, given that it’s now somewhat assumed that he’s out of the title race.

“I think now there is that separation in the points, that may actually take the pressure off him a little and the expectation he’s putting on himself,” Horner told Sky Sports F1 after the Spanish GP.

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“He needs to let go of that now and just be free to drive.”

Prost knows exactly what it takes to become a World Champion and defeat the very best, something he proved against three-time World Champion Ayrton Senna.

The Frenchman has been very critical of Perez for approaching his title fight all wrong, most notably for speaking so often “about his desire to beat” Verstappen.

The F1 legend has informed Perez that in order to truly take the fight to the reigning World Champion, he must make the Dutchman “doubt him”.

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“A driver’s game is always to try and tip the balance in his favour, whether it’s the set-up of the car or the contribution of the team. And that’s where Perez is wrong,” Prost told L’Equipe.

“He needs to make Max Verstappen doubt him and change Red Bull’s mind about him.

“As we know, Perez is tackling an almost impossible mission. And in order to achieve it, he must above all not shout so loudly about his desire to beat Max.”