Free to Fight: Red Bull Happy with Either Verstappen or Perez Winning 2022 Formula 1 Title

Red Bull Racing drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez 6 photos
Photo: Oracle Red Bull Racing / Twitter
Red Bull Racing drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing driver Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing driver Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing driver Sergio Perez
Well, here’s something we didn’t really see coming, and let’s face it, nobody in the media was giving Perez any shot this year against Verstappen, or Leclerc for that matter. Yet here we are, with the Mexican driver sitting just 15 points behind championship leader Max Verstappen.
During his first year at Red Bull, Perez took on a supporting role as Verstappen mounted a furious title challenge against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes-AMG. The Dutchman went on to win the title on the very last lap of the very last race in 2021, with Perez proving instrumental in getting him there by holding up Hamilton for a brief yet important stint.

However, things are looking different this season, with Perez having shown glimpses of greatness, outqualifying his teammate in Saudi Arabia and then again in Monaco. Meanwhile, in Australia and Miami, Perez qualified less than a tenth behind Verstappen.

Now, following all that controversy in Spain where tensions rose in Perez’s camp over his position within the team, Red Bull decided to give the Mexican driver a two-year contract extension while also publicly announcing that Perez would be free to race Verstappen for the title, reports Motorsport.

“It doesn’t matter to us which of the two is world champion,” said team principal Christian Horner. “Of course, the constructors’ is enormously important. But whether it’s Max or Checo [Perez], they’re both Red Bull drivers, and they’ve both got the same chance.”

Horner went on to say that Perez is in the “form of his career” and that he’s doing a great job for the team on a consistent basis.

Meanwhile, Verstappen insisted that his relationship with Perez wouldn’t suffer if the two became entangled in a title fight.

“Why would that change?,” said the Dutchman. “We work really well as a team. And yeah, may the best man win at the end, right?”
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About the author: Sergiu Tudose
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Sergiu got to experience both American and European car "scenes" at an early age (his father drove a Ford Fiesta XR2 supermini in the 80s). After spending over 15 years at local and international auto publications, he's starting to appreciate comfort behind the wheel more than raw power and acceleration.
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