Johnny Herbert believes Sergio Perez has changed his attitude this season at Red Bull as he goes in search of the F1 world title.
The Mexican could well be Max Verstappen’s main threat in the fight for the championship this year, with the Red Bull RB19 currently looking too quick for the rest of the field to compete with over the course of a Grand Prix.
Of course, the likes of Mercedes, Aston Martin, and Ferrari are all working hard to try and close the gap but Red Bull are certainly the team to catch, and they’re hardly going to be resting on their laurels waiting to be reeled in.
That all said, it could indeed be the case that we have a team-mate duel for the championship this year with Perez and Verstappen in the best car on the grid, and many are naturally intrigued to see if Checo can step up and really push Verstappen all the way this season.
For former F1 race winner Johnny Herbert, who recently launched new F1 podcast Lift The Lid alongside Billy Monger, there has been a change in Perez’s approach and attitude that suggests he is well aware of the chance he has at winning this year’s crown:
“I think his attitude has changed,” Herbert told GIVEMESPORT. “He voices a lot more things, he’s a lot more on the radio this year. He’s a lot snappier, which is good, because that’s exactly what Max does. And that’s what he’s got to do – he’s got to play the same game.
“Then let’s say he wins the World Championship this year, Red Bull couldn’t get rid of him. You’d probably have the strongest pairing if that happened.
“[Red Bull] have to try and keep them under control but as soon as that helmet’s on, the visor’s down, and the lights are out, it’s them on their own.
“They can be told what to do on a radio but do you actually do it sometimes? Have we seen Max do exactly what he’s been told on the radio? Not all the time. Have we seen Sergio do what he’s told on the radio? He probably has, so maybe this is the time where he goes ‘no.’”
Round four of the world championship takes place in Azerbaijan at the end of April with Perez looking to close the gap in the standings back up to Verstappen, after the Dutchman took a second victory of the season at the Australian GP last time out.
Billy Monger and Johnny Herbert have recently launched the Lift The Lid podcast to give the inside track on being a racing driver. Subscribe to the Lift The Lid podcast here via your favourite podcast platform.