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Niki Lauda's son: 'Perez needs to realise Verstappen is the better one'

Niki Lauda's son: 'Perez needs to realise Verstappen is the better one'

7 March - 12:33 Last update: 14:17

Mathias Lauda calls Max Verstappen the man to beat this season. Verstappen won the Bahrain Grand Prix with Red Bull Racing by a large margin last weekend. Lauda is impressed with the RB19 and further states that Sergio Perez should settle for a role as the second driver with the team from Austria.

"We have never seen Max like that in 2022. It looked almost boring. I have rarely seen him this strong," Lauda told Servus TV. He notes that Red Bull have "really built a strong car" this winter. "They have a huge lead. Max is a nightmare for the competition, I have said that several times."

Verstappen mature

Whereas the 25-year-old Dutchman sometimes took quite a bit of risk in the past, he is a lot more cautious these days. Verstappen knows how to assess situations better, Lauda believes. "The only weakness was in the last two years, that sometimes he could not control himself. He was very aggressive. Now he has grown up, he controls the races." Verstappen himself has always said that he has to take fewer risks now because his car is a lot more competitive.

Last year, Verstappen and Perez clashed when the former would not let his teammate pass him in the Brazilian Grand Prix. The 42-year-old Lauda does not think that incident is still in play. "I think Max and Pérez get along very well. If I were Pérez, I would try to become the best number two in the world. I would try to win some races. He has to realise that Max is the better one. It's like Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher, he just has to admit it," the Austrian concluded.