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Brundle: Only Alonso and Hamilton have the head to cope with Verstappen

Brundle: Only Alonso and Hamilton have the head to cope with Verstappen

Brundle: Only Alonso and Hamilton have the head to cope with Verstappen
Martin Brundle, former Formula 1 driver and respected pundit, reflected on Sergio Perez’s struggle alongside Max Verstappen, claiming only Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton can cope with the Dutchman’s current dominance.

Perez has won two of the eight grands prix Red Bull claimed so far this season, but has been recently struggling to deliver the same level of performance ever since he dominated the sport’s weekend in Azerbaijan back in April.

In Miami he took pole, but was beaten by Verstappen who started from ninth on the grid, and has been struggling ever since with subpar qualifying performances, his Sunday’s not better as well.

The latest episode of Perez’s struggles was in last weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, where he qualified 12th on the grid, and while he advanced to an ultimate sixth at the chequered flag, driving an RB19, the Mexican was expected to finish higher up.

In his column for Sky Sports F1, Martin Brundle reviewed the race in Canada and believes Perez – and both Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz – “should have been in the fight up front”.

Of Perez, he wrote: “Perez has the same equipment as Verstappen. Perez impressively won two of the first four races this season, importantly with Verstappen second to him each time, but it has all fallen apart since Max came from ninth on the grid in Miami to comfortably beat pole-sitting Sergio.

Perez the best teammate for Verstappen, Red Bull will back him

“Perez will need all his maturity and experience, along with team and family support, to turn his head around and start delivering his speed and potential,” the former F1 racer added. “I suspect only Alonso and Hamilton would have the head to cope with Verstappen at this moment and I doubt Red Bull would want that volatility in their team.

“The team’s perfect scenario would be Sergio to finish a close second to Max every race, and win when Max can’t,” he maintained, as Red Bull fight for their sixth F1 Constructors’ Title, along with the possibility of winning every race this season no matter how unlikely that might be.

“The trouble is that, as Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon found out, fine young drivers get buried alongside the Dutchman’s speed,” Brundle noted.

“At the same time, Red Bull can’t have Perez off form when Mercedes, Ferrari and Aston Martin inevitably home in on them. That’s why they’ll support him all the way,” the veteran, an active F1 driver between 1984 and 1996, concluded.

Ever since Daniel Ricciardo left Red Bull to Renault at the end of the 2018 F1 season, non of the drivers drafted to replace him alongside Verstappen – Gasly and Albon – delivered, but Perez has been a solid number two driver over the past three seasons, that is until his current struggles.