Former Renault F1 Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul has suggested a
“cruel” Max Verstappen has ‘broken’ teammate Sergio Perez with his
level of dominance. The Dutchman wrapped up his third consecutive
F1 title early – during the Sprint in Qatar – having broken
numerous records this season, including most consecutive wins, most
wins in a season and win percentage. Perez had started in fine
style with two victories and a win in the Azerbaijan Sprint across
the first four weekends of the campaign but since settling for
second to Verstappen in Miami after his teammate had started ninth
on the grid, the Mexican has slumped with indifferent form,
hindered by numerous incidents. Despite the setbacks, Perez holds a
healthy lead over Lewis Hamilton in the race for second in the
Drivers’ standings whilst Red Bull boasts more than double
Mercedes’ tally with 782 to 382. Red Bull ‘impervious’ Red Bull has
picked up the domination from where Mercedes left off after the
Silver Arrows’ eight-year stranglehold over the sport and speaking
to Franceinfo, current Hyundai Motorsports Team Principal Abiteboul
– who was involved in a spat with the Milton Keynes-based outfit’s
Team Principal Christian Horner when still in F1 – has commended
his former rivals’ performances. “Mercedes’ dominance was due to
one element: the engine. It was exceptional,” explained Abiteboul.
“Everyone has had their ups and downs, their moments of brilliance
and their problems. But Red Bull has just walked on water. “It’s
amazing because they seem impervious to all variables, be it wind,
temperature or ground effect. That makes their dominance even more
impressive. “It’s cruel. Verstappen is so strong that he is able to
push a driver like Sergio Pérez, who has been through a lot, to the
ground and break him. “There is a lot of maturity from Red Bull and
Max. I have the impression that he is much calmer.”

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