Sergio Perez has admitted that having Max Verstappen as a teammate puts added pressure on him within the team.
The Mexican has struggled to match Verstappen’s form in the dominant RB19, suffering from poor qualifying performances which has often led to damage limitation on Sundays.
The Belgian Grand Prix was the first time Perez has led a lap since he was overtaken by Verstappen on Lap 48 of the Miami GP in May. At that stage the points gap between the pair in the Drivers’ Championship was just 14, now it stretches to 125 midway through the season.
When asked what it is like to have Verstappen as his teammate, he told ViaPlay: “It’s very difficult of course to have Max as teammate.
“I don’t think we should take anything away from the talent that he is and how hard he works, how he delivers and how focussed he is.”
Perez: He pushes you to the maximum
While Perez admires Verstappen’s focus on race weekends, he concedes that it does create more expectations to deliver.
“He is just a great driver, but it’s great to have him as a teammate,” he added.
“Because he pushes you to the maximum and it creates a lot of pressure and stress. It’s not easy to cope with that, a guy that is always delivering the 100% out of the car.
“That is something unique to have and something I learned a lot from myself. Yeah, I’ve had a great time.”
Out of the five teammates in his F1 career, Verstappen has only been beaten by his teammate once: Daniel Ricciardo in 2018.
When asked if being Verstappen’s teammate is the most difficult on the grid, Perez responds: “Yeah, I think so. If you are not strong enough mentally, it would be difficult for anyone to cope with that.”