'Max told Perez on the team radio that he had to go in for new tyres'

'Max told Perez on the team radio that he had to go in for new tyres'

29-10-2021 06:00 Last update: 09:11

Red Bull Racing could be satisfied with the race weekend after the United States Grand Prix. With Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in first and third place respectively, Red Bull Racing performed much better than competitor Mercedes. Nevertheless Jeroen Bleekemolen thinks Perez has to perform better.

The Mexican may have finished on the podium, but the difference between the two teammates was over 42 seconds. According to Bleekemolen, that was exactly the problem, he explains in an exclusive interview with GPblog. "If Perez had been closer to Max then Red Bull would have had the opportunity to apply two different strategies. That was not the case in America, so Max had to rely fully on his own strength", says Bleekemolen.

Strength of Verstappen

Bleekemolen understands that Perez does not have it easy. Pierre Gasly and Alexander Albon also experienced in the past how difficult it is to be teammate of Verstappen. "Together with Lewis, Max is the best racing driver in the world. The gap is so big between those two drivers and the rest of the drivers, that it's almost impossible to compete. In that respect, Perez might have the hardest job of all the Formula 1 drivers."

During the race in the United States, Bleekemolen saw the difference between Verstappen and Perez. Where the Dutchman almost determined the strategy for his team himself, Perez mainly had to listen to what Red Bull had to say. "Max told Perez on the boordradio that he had to go in for new tyres. That's interesting to see, of course. Although in such a team thirty men are calculating, it is Verstappen who ultimately gives the steering."

Home race for Perez

Where Perez just can't manage to stay close to Verstappen, the same has been going on at Mercedes for years with Valtteri Bottas. The Finn has scored more points than Verstappen and Hamilton since announcing his departure to Alfa Romeo, but that included both men's crashes in Italy. "Max should be able to grab the world title on his own. However, if Bottas stays close, then of course it gives Mercedes a slight advantage. That danger is there." Bleekemolen is hopeful, however, that Perez will do well at the next race in his home country. "Hopefully he will give his fans what they want. That will bring Verstappen closer to winning the world championship again."

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