Perez believes role alongside Verstappen hardest in F1

Sergio Perez suggests that being at Red Bull next to Max Verstappen could very well be the most challenging position in Formula 1.

Although the Mexican has a deal running through 2024, he’s feeling the weight of international media scrutiny, as several commentators speculate about his future.

“Even though he can look at Max’s data, he is unable to improve and close the gap,” former F1 driver Christijan Albers told De Telegraaf newspaper.

“The gap is in fact only increasing. At some point they’ll see ‘It’s impossible to keep justifying this’. The narrative must eventually wrap up.

“If you see how destructive (Christian) Horner and (Helmut) Marko were towards (Nyck) de Vries, it actually amazes me that they continue to keep Perez,” Albers added.

As reported by Marca Sports paper, during a Ford event in Mexico, Perez opened up about the pressure he’s facing.

“When something like this happens at Red Bull, you immediately have 300 media channels telling you that you have to leave,” he said.

“I have the feeling that being Mexican also has a lot to do with it. We saw with (George) Russell when he crashed from third place on the last lap (in Singapore), but nobody was saying that he had to leave.”

While Russell shares the Mercedes garage with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, Perez is of the opinion that being Verstappen’s teammate poses a stiffer challenge.

“He manages to get more out of the car and also does it every weekend. That’s certainly something I admire about him,” Perez told De Limburger newspaper.

“Max performs at the top of his abilities always and everywhere. I think that’s the most special thing about him.

“He is also a hard worker who understands very well why he is successful. If something goes wrong, he immediately knows why,” Perez added.

“It takes time to get used to that, and the past has proven that it is not an easy task to be Max Verstappen’s teammate. There are few drivers who can handle that pressure.

“I sometimes call it the toughest job in Formula 1,” he said.