‘The man’: Red Bull predict Max Verstappen will defeat Sergio Perez in Miami

Max Verstappen suffered a tough weekend in Azerbaijan, as Sergio Perez cut his lead in the title race.

Ahead of the Miami Grand Prix, Max Verstappen is determined to secure his status as the 2023 title favourite after his Red Bull teammate took two victories in Azerbaijan.

With Red Bull dominating, Verstappen’s main rival for the title appears to be his own teammate, as the pair have traded victories throughout the season.

Verstappen took P1 in Bahrain and Australia, while Perez claimed victory in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan.

Having swapped several 1-2 finishes, the pair are now split by just six points in the 2023 title race, putting pressure on the Dutchman as he bids to retain his championship.

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Even though Red Bull does not intend to intervene in the fight between the teammates, Dr Helmut Marko is confident that Verstappen will comeback stronger in Miami, extending his lead.

Helmut Marko tips Max Verstappen to bounce back

“The usual story,” Marko told Osterreich newspaper when asked what happened to Verstappen in Baku.

“When Max can’t get along with his setup and we’re on a street circuit, Perez is there.”

Despite Miami essentially being a street circuit, Marko doesn’t doubt Verstappen’s ability to show he is the leading driver at Red Bull.

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“I see Max being in front again,” Marko said

“Leclerc could be fast in qualifying like in Baku, but the race should be ours again. And I’m sticking to it.

“In terms of the season, Max Verstappen is the man. He’s the more consistent.

“In Baku, both of them fought for the fastest lap until the end.

“But as long as everything remains civilised, we will not intervene. You don’t have to worry about the mood in the team, it’s fine.”

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Mounting tensions at Red Bull

Despite Marko’s assurances, there have been fears that the rivalry between Verstappen and Perez could explode later in the season, especially if they remain so close together in the standings.

Red Bull will naturally be cautious about the two drivers coming together if things get too heated on track, as a DNF could allow Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso to get close to the lead of the title race.

Regardless of the outcome of the Drivers’ title race, Red Bull will be optimistic right now that they can keep hold of the Constructors’s title, having opened up an almost 100 point lead to their nearest rivals.