Max Verstappen issued some comments that may rile up Sergio Perez, as well as former Mercedes star and now Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas.
The Dutchman won his second successive F1 world title this year, and both times the Mexican played second fiddle and was used to increase the 25-year-old’s chances of success. There is perhaps no clearer example of this than in the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP title finale, when Perez defended valiantly against Lewis Hamilton for many laps, allowing Verstappen to close the gap between him and the Mercedes star.
While few teams will rarely say outright who is the number one driver, there are plenty of constructors where it is reasonable to guess who has priority. During the Finn’s time at Mercedes, it was clear he was second driver to Hamilton – winning just 10 races in five seasons.
The smallest points difference between the two came in Bottas’ first year when Hamilton was 58 points ahead of him while 2021’s 161.5 was the largest margin during their time as team-mates. Speaking to Viaplay via Planet F1, Verstappen elaborated on his thoughts when it comes to second drivers and warned that any who do not accept their place will find their careers coming to a premature end.