Max Verstappen sent Monaco GP warning as Sergio Perez tipped to be ‘better’

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Max Verstappen has been warned that Sergio Perez is likely to be “better” at the Monaco Grand Prix. According to Damon Hill, Perez could beat his team-mate in the Principality after previous success on street layouts.

It could bring the Mexican back into play in the world championship fight with the ex-Force India star now 14 points behind his team-mate. Hill told the F1 Nation podcast: “In Miami we saw that Max is really on a different level. Not only compared to Sergio, but compared to the entire grid.

“At circuits like Baku and Jeddah you could see how good Sergio was. I even think he was better than Max there.” Perez took victory at the Saudi Arabian and Azerbaijan Grands Prix which were won on street tracks.

Meanwhile, Verstappen has secured wins at more traditional circuits like Bahrain and to some extent Australia.

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Perez also picked up two wins on street layouts last year as he stood on the top step in Monaco and Singapore. It is believed Perez succeeds on street tracks as a result of his particular driving style.

The 33-year-old has been praised for his throttle control and brake balance, which are key skills for street circuits. He is also easier on the tyres which may give him an advantage when the margins are so small.

Perez’s street speciality has not been lost on the team with Red Bull chief Christian Horner urging his driver to find form on all types of circuits. He said: “I think he just needs to do it at a normal track now.

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“So he’s excelled at street circuits. All his victories for us have been at street tracks. Second time he’s won here, won in Singapore, won in Monaco, won in Jeddah. Just need to get him going at the proper circuits, too.”

However, Perez has pledged to fight Verstappen for the 2023 crown meaning he will need to perform better on traditional layouts. It’s a challenge the Mexican star relishes as he stresses there is “no reason” he cannot improve his form at other venues.

Perez explained: “The reason I’m strong when at these circuits is because I’m able to play with the car much more than I’m used to. So I see no reason why we go to different circuit’s [why] I’m not able to play with the car the same way as I’ve been doing.

“Every weekend it’s a new challenge, on paper, it’s so hard to know if it suits you or not. So that’s why it’s important to be able to keep playing with the car and have a really good understanding of the car and I believe I can be strong.”

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