Sergio Perez’s Baku double win proves Helmut Marko’s claim: he’s not to be underestimated.

Red Bull’s advisor, Helmut Marko believes that Perez has “changed a lot” since he joined the team, indicating that he has grown as a driver.

Over the course of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend, Perez had a successful outing. He won the Sprint race on Saturday, followed by another victory in Sunday’s main event.

Max Verstappen finished in second place, securing a 1-2 result for the team. Verstappen was in the lead of the race earlier, but he lost his position after he went in for a pit stop just before the Safety Car was deployed in the early stages.

Despite Verstappen’s misfortune, Marko praised Perez’s performance, as well as his growth as a driver.

“[Verstappen] was unlucky with the Safety Car, yes, but Sergio on a street circuit, he has the most podiums here,” Marko told the F1 Nation podcast.

“So don’t underestimate Sergio. He changed a lot since he came to us. He started working!”

When jokingly asked by Damon Hill if he was taking the credit for Perez’s success, Marko responded: “I’m not taking the credit!

“But, before, he was a Mexican race driver who was enjoying life. He still does, but he does the necessary work.”

As Helmut Marko remembers, Sergio Perez surpassed Pedro Rodriguez’s record for the most wins achieved by a Mexican driver in Formula 1 during the 2022 season.

This accomplishment established Perez as the most successful Mexican driver in the sport’s history.

“Last year, he was looking [at] how many races were won by the Rodriguez brothers,” Marko explained.

“He is the most successful driver from Mexico now, and they have a long history and good drivers.”

Helmut Marko celebrated his 80th birthday a few days before Sergio Perez’s victory in Baku. Marko revealed that Perez’s win was his preferred gift over the many cakes he received.

“[It was a] very decent [present] and a proper one, not the ninth or 10th cake I got,” he added.

“Wherever I went – restaurant, bar, everywhere – a cake showed up!”