Sky Sports F1 pundit demands Red Bull stop favouring Max Verstappen over Sergio Perez

Verstappen won the first race of the year with Perez second, while their finishing positions were swapped in Saudi Arabia with Red Bull dominating the early part of the season

Naomi Schiff thinks Red Bull have to give Sergio Perez the same number of opportunities to win this season as Max Verstappen.

Red Bull, like most Formula 1 teams these days, insist that they have no number one driver. But even though teams often say this, one-sided results sometimes indicate that this is not always the case internally

Verstappen has won the last two drivers’ championships, both times with a healthy margin over Perez. But, heading into the Australian Grand Prix weekend, the gap between them was only one point with both drivers having won one race each out of two.

Perez feels he is ready to mount a serious title challenge while some pundits are starting to agree with him. One of them is Schiff, who said on Sky Sports that she wants to see the Mexican given all the opportunities his team-mate will have to achieve that goal.

She said: “At this point in the season where we are only heading into race three, I think it would be foolish for the team to really make a decision on who they are going to back just yet. If Checo is going to be as quick as he was in Saudi, then why not give him the opportunity?

“Here especially, he’s got that reputation of being a street king, statistically he still needs to win Australia and Canada and he’s got all of the street circuits ticked.

The chances of him achieving victory in Melbourne are slim, given he is starting from the pit lane after failing to set a time in qualifying. But his long-term aim will no waver yet, and he said this week that he feels he currently does have the support of the team to be able to mount a serious challenge.

When I came to the team, things were very different and, basically, they were just going racing with two cars because they had to,” he said. “I really believe that they have full support of the team as much as Max does and, that I will have every single opportunity to win the championship as much as Max.”

However, that indication that Red Bull have favoured one driver in the past did not go down all too well with team boss Christian Horner. He responded: “That’s the first I’ve heard him saying that. We always have run two cars since we entered the sport in 2005. And we always want to have the best two drivers that we can in the car.

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