Damon Hill: Sergio Perez to benefit from his experience at McLaren in battle with Verstappen.

According to Damon Hill, Sergio Perez’s experience in Formula 1 with McLaren could prove beneficial in his ongoing battle against Max Verstappen at Red Bull, as he will not be easily overwhelmed.

During the 2013 season, Perez was brought in by McLaren as a replacement for Lewis Hamilton, despite only being in his third year of competing. However, he only stayed with the team for one season, as they began to lose their competitive edge and slid down the ranks.

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There were concerns about Perez’s mentality during his partnership with Jenson Button, but Damon Hill believes that the Mexican driver was misjudged during that period.

He then went on to state that the lessons Perez learned during his time at McLaren could be put to use in the current campaign, where Red Bull is expected to have a significant advantage in terms of pace, potentially allowing him to contend for the championship.

Hill on the F1 Nation podcast remarked: “The very sad fact is that I think he was wrongly interpreted.”

“I think his laid back, relaxed style was interpreted by that team as different and not trying hard, but I think that’s a mistake.

“They decided he wasn’t a good fit for their mindset, for what they wanted, and it went wrong from there.

“And he’s clawed his way back, and he’s got himself into a place here, in a team like Red Bull, and he’s tough enough to cope with the pressure that you get in a team like Red Bull.

“I won’t say it is water off a duck’s back, but if he was a younger driver, as we’ve seen in Red Bull, younger drivers get crushed by that environment, and he’s not going to get crushed.”

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Hill assessed the possibility of Perez being given the opportunity to compete with Verstappen for the championship by Christian Horner and Helmut Marko.

He believes that the team’s management may permit fair competition, but he holds reservations about Perez’s chances of emerging victorious.

“I’m sure they will allow it. But I think they will prefer Max to win, and I think Max will ultimately prevail.

“I just don’t think that Checo has the ultimate speed and ruthlessness that Max does.”