Max Verstappen thinks Sergio Perez has been “great” since joining Red Bull and hopes that he remains with the team.
The Mexican became Verstappen’s fourth team-mate at Red Bull after replacing Alex Albon at the end of the 2020 campaign.
He has generally made a strong start to life with his new team, winning in Baku and standing on the podium at Paul Ricard too.
With Perez only being given a one-year deal when he joined though, it isn’t yet a guarantee that he’ll keep his seat for next year.
Verstappen very much hopes that he does.
“Everything is going really well!” the Dutchman told reporters in Austria.
“Of course, I knew Checo [Perez] before, but not as a team-mate so, of course, always a little bit different. But, I think so far, it’s been great.
“And to be able to now work together upfront, you know, to get the best results for the team is what you want. So, for sure, I would want that to continue.
“And yeah, he is a great teammate. And we can have a lot of fun as well. You know, we don’t need to always talk about cars and setups and stuff.”
Verstappen’s win last time out in France gave him a decent 12-point lead in the title fight with Lewis Hamilton, and Perez played a big role in it.
When the Dutchman pitted for a second time, Mercedes decided not to follow suit as their drivers would rejoin behind Checo, and they were unsure how quickly they could get past him.
It’s the first time since Daniel Ricciardo left that the second Red Bull is constantly up there helping Verstappen fight their rivals, and he thinks that’s especially important given they have the car capable of doing so now.
“Before we didn’t have the car to fight them, so you could do what you want,” Verstappen added regarding Mercedes.
“I mean, make a three-stop, put the rear tyres on the front, nothing is really going to change.
“So now, we have the car to really fight them. And, of course, then it’s super important to be up there with two cars. And that’s exactly what we have been doing now in Baku and Paul Ricard.
“So it’s going to be crucial for the Constructors’ as well to keep this up until the end of the year.”