Max Verstappen warns Red Bull teammate Perez: You can afford these one-offs… sometimes

Perez started 16th and DNF'd in Canada through driver error, leaving Verstappen with it all to do on his own...

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Max Verstappen fired a warning shot to Sergio Perez just days after his teammate extended his Red Bull contract by telling the Mexican that he cannot win the constructors’ championship on his own after winning the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix.

Another dismal qualifying performance saw Perez start at the wrong end of the grid for the second weekend in a row, leaving Verstappen attempting to limit the damage to Red Bull‘s title hopes on his own whilst the car has proven difficult to handle.

Whilst the Dutchman managed to take home 25 points after the race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, meaning Mercedes only gained the same amount and McLaren only gained three on Red Bull, he did warn his colleague that it’s unsustainable to count on him to do it by himself.

“I think the damage was done yesterday for Checo [Perez] to be starting at the back.” Verstappen told the media, including Total-Motorsport.com, when asked about the teams’ championship battle. “It’s very hard in these conditions. Then I saw him retire with the damage.

“So, I knew that I had score big to not let the other teams catch up a lot. But I do think at the end of the day, as long as you keep winning and you score 25 points, even if the others finish second and third you don’t really lose out too much.

“And then you can kind of afford these one-offs sometimes, but naturally we always want the two cars to be out there, and I also have no doubt that that will change very soon again.”

Race winner Max Verstappen celebrates after the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Race winner Max Verstappen celebrates after the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

How does Verstappen think Perez can recover form?

It’s another similar story to 2022 and 2023 for Perez, as he loses form inexplicably following a strong start to the campaign whilst Verstappen continues to rack up the wins as soon as Formula 1 hits the European part of the calendar.

So, what’s going on for the 34-year-old and how does the Dutchman think he, or Red Bull, can improve to make things better for him for the rest of the season to lock up the constructors’ championship as McLaren and Ferrari threaten to close in?

“We just need to work on our car, to be honest,” Verstappen added, calling for his team to help Perez. “To make it a bit easier to drive.

“And also, probably to feel a bit more comfortable and then I’m sure that we’ll have both cars back up there, like we had in the beginning of the season.”

Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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