Red Bull Max Verstappen
Red Bull Racing pilots Max Verstappen and Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez.LAPRESSE

At the recently concluded Belgian Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing secured a double podium finish. While Max Verstappen extended his record-winning streak, his Mexican teammate, Sergio Perez, faced the checkered flag right behind him. With that, the Dutchman elevated his driver’s championship lead by more than 100 points before heading into the summer break.

While Max Verstappen breezed on the track like his usual self, his teammate, Sergio Perez, faced criticism despite securing P2. He started the race at the front row while Max was back at P5 owing to a grid place penalty. Despite this, Verstappen faced the checkered flag 22 seconds quicker than Checo, which raised a lot of doubt amongst the fans as to how Perez lagged so much in equal machinery.


Sergio Perez Blames Car Setup For Huge Deficit To Max Verstappen At Spa Race Weekend

Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull Racing has reasserted its dominance on the tracks of Formula One by developing the fastest car on the grid, RB19. The pace of RB19 is unmatchable, as rivals have faced a deficit of more than 10 seconds consistently. However, at the Belgian Grand Pix, fans witnessed an unusual scene as Sergio Perez, despite driving the same machinery as Verstappen, finished 22 seconds behind the Dutchman. Naturally, Checo found himself at the receiving end. After massive debate, Perez issued a viable explanation for the deficit. Belgian GP hosted a sprint race with a tweaked format which allowed the teams to have the luxury of only one practice session.

As a result, Red Bull chose to put Sergio Perez on an aggressive car setup. Max Verstappen breezed past him after the initial pitstop. Moreover, in the second stint, Checo went off at Turn 11, which further widened the gap. Ultimately, Perez was not allowed to push as his main priority was to bring the car home safely. It’s also worth noting that Checo’s RB19 suffered severe damage after a collision with Mercedes ace Lewis Hamilton at the sprint race the day before. Hence, that factor could have also contributed to the time deficit. That being said, the Mexican driver is satisfied, as his main objective was to secure a podium that will remain the same even in the second half of the season as well.

Checo Reveals Red Bull Chief’s Pep Talk Ahead Of The Belgian GP’s Qualifying

Red Bull
Red Bull chief Christian Horner and Sergio Perez (Image: Dan Mullan – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Sergio Perez, popularly known as Checo, has struggled to compete in the qualifying sessions this season. In more than five race weekends, he failed to break out of Q3 of the qualifying session, which in turn resulted in underwhelming performances during the main race. Hence, ahead of the qualifying at the Belgian Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing’s team principal Christian Horner gave a pep talk to Checo, which may have fuelled his confidence.

Checo revealed that before he headed out for the qualifying session, Christian Horner told him that if he did not make it into the top three, Horner would not talk to him for the entire race weekend. While the Red Bull chief certainly didn’t mean it, it could have helped Checo with his confidence. Well, it worked as Perez not only qualified for Q1 but also finished P3.