Verstappen bristles at Perez struggle theory

Max Verstappen used an expletive when asked about the theory that Red Bull has developed its 2023 car to the detriment of Sergio Perez's driving style.

Sergio Perez, Max Verstappen, Belgian GP 2023
© Red Bull

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said at Zandvoort recently that the big gap between Perez's pace and that of his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen is bizarre.

His theory is that Perez is unable to cope with the development direction Verstappen's feedback has led the 2023 car into.

I think you sometimes get some upgrades to the car that adapt easier to your driving style than others, you know, Perez agreed at Monza on Thursday.

However, when asked the same question by a reporter at Monza, Verstappen bristled.

These are bullshit comments, he is quoted as saying by the German media.

"I always tell my guys to just build the fastest car possible. People always ask me what my driving style is, but I always just adapt to what the car needs to be fast.

I don't say 'design the car so that I can feel the front more' or something. I guess that's one of my strengths - being able to adapt to the characteristics of the car, the Dutchman added.

Verstappen, 25, was also asked about Thursday's big news about his 2021 title nemesis Lewis Hamilton finally signing a new two-year Mercedes contract.

It's good for the sport, for himself and good for Mercedes, he said.

Some are wondering if Mercedes is actually wise for signing a new deal with Hamilton, given that he will turn 40 before it has ended.

42-year-old Fernando Alonso, however, rubbished that theory.

If I was a team boss and I had to choose between Hamilton or the youngest on the grid, or a promising driver from F2, I would stay with Hamilton until he is 80 years old, said the Spaniard.

Someone would have to show that he can go faster than Hamilton with the same car, and no one has been able to do it.