Rubens Barrichello understands that Sergio Pérez is having a difficult time alongside Max Verstappen at the Red Bull Racing team. The Brazilian indicates that the Mexican has been mentally broken by his teammate, but that he must regain his confidence. Barrichello believes that Pérez has done what he had to do next to Verstappen. After all, it is not easy to beat a multiple world champion.
Pérez still holds second place in the championship. After the two races in Brazil, the Red Bull driver managed to increase his lead over Lewis Hamilton, but it is still not a great season. The Mexican has been under pressure for several months because he cannot come close to Verstappen’s performance. Pérez has been waiting for a podium since the Italian Grand Prix, while Verstappen has won five Grands Prix since that race.
Christian Horner and Helmut Marko have made it clear several times that Pérez’s seat will not be in danger next year. Barrichello therefore believes that Pérez should keep his confidence. “I spoke to Checo and told him that this has a lot more to do with his mentality than anything else,” the former driver told Fox Sports México. ‘He did what we expected of him; he has won phenomenal races. He also has the support of his country, the sponsors and his friends.’
Barrichello: ‘It’s not easy’
Pérez announced after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix that he was going for the championship. At that time, the man from Guadalajara, like Verstappen, had two victories to his name. From that moment on, Verstappen started an unprecedented series of victories. The Dutchman recorded ten victories in a row, taking the record from Sebastian Vettel, who won nine races in a row in 2013. It quickly became clear that Verstappen would win his third title.
Barrichello has experienced firsthand that it is not easy to ride next to a world champion. The Brazilian rode alongside Michael Schumacher from 2000 to 2005. In those years he was only able to beat the German a few times. ‘It’s not easy. Driving alongside Schumacher, I found myself competing against one of the best drivers in the history of the sport. Max, in turn, is here to break all records,” concludes Barrichello.