1996 F1 world champion Damon Hill has warned Max Verstappen that his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez could be strong in Monaco.
The 2023 championship is being dominated by Red Bull at the moment, with the team winning all five grands prix so far and also taking the sprint race in Azerbaijan last month as well.
They would have been favourites at the race in Imola this weekend but, of course, it was cancelled because of the heavy rain and terrible floods they have had in the area, and so it is now Monaco that will host the sixth round of the championship.
Red Bull will be the team to beat around the streets of the principality, and Sergio Perez could well be close to Max Verstappen, especially given his prowess around street circuits.
Perez has won in Baku on more than one occasion, and has also won races in Singapore and Saudi Arabia, as well as of course Monaco last year.
He is something of a street track specialist and, that said, Damon Hill believes he will be very close to Verstappen next weekend – though it’s on the more traditional circuits that the Mexican really needs to try and reel in his team-mate still:
“In Miami we saw that Max is really on a different level – not only compared to Sergio, but compared to the entire grid,” said Hill, speaking to the F1 Nation podcast.
“At circuits like Baku and Jeddah you could see how good Sergio was – I even think he was better than Max there.
“So he’s excelled at street circuits, all his victories for us have been at street tracks. [We] just need to get him going at the proper circuits too.”
It’s certainly fascinating how Perez comes alive on street circuits and with the most famous of them all up next he will be eager to try and make it three wins apiece between the two Red Bull drivers in the championship this year in terms of grands prix.
Perez won in Monaco last season, of course, and making it two around Monte-Carlo is the sort of feat that very few drivers have achieved in their careers.
Of course, qualifying will be hugely important next Saturday around the circuit and if Perez can get the better of Verstappen there, with the two expected to be the quickest cars, then he could be on for another street track win.