Martin Brundle reveals the only two drivers on the grid capable of fighting Max Verstappen after Sergio Perez falters yet again

Brundle believes that only the other two world champions on the grid can compete with the likes of the ruthless Verstappen


Martin Brundle reveals the only two drivers on the grid capable of fighting Max Verstappen after Sergio Perez falters yet again

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez (Credits: Skysports)

The enthralling Canadian Grand Prix proved to be another demonstration of Max Verstappen and Red Bull’s dominance, resulting in their eighth consecutive victory. The podium showcased a remarkable moment for Formula 1, as three esteemed champions, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, and Verstappen, occupied the top spots.

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After title contender Sergio Perez delivered yet another shocking result, F1 pundit Martin Brundle in his Sky Sports column, on the only drivers capable of competing with Verstappen in identical machinery. Apart from stating that Perez will need support to realize his potential, he asserts that only the likes of the seasoned Alonso and Hamilton could put up a fight.

Martin Brundle said, “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. 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.”

According to Brundle, Red Bull is expected to continue supporting the 33-year-old driver, as he does not envision anyone on the current grid, apart from Fernando Alonso or Lewis Hamilton, capable of challenging Verstappen. However, Brundle noted that Alonso and Hamilton are not viable options for Red Bull due to the potential volatility they might introduce within the team.

Related: Lewis Hamilton wants a three-way title fight with Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso in the future

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Sergio Perez is not performing at the same level as his machinery

Sergio Perez (Credits: The Independent)
Sergio Perez (Credits: The Independent)

In the past three races, Sergio Perez has been experiencing a dip in form, struggling particularly during qualifying sessions. During this period, he has failed to progress beyond Q2, while his teammate Max Verstappen has consistently secured pole positions, converting them all into unchallenged, dominant wins.

The pattern continued in the Canadian Grand Prix, as Perez had another disappointing qualifying session. He was eliminated in Q2 and started the race outside the top 10. Given the capabilities of the Red Bull car, it was expected that Perez would be able to harness its speed and secure at least a podium finish. However, he lacked the necessary pace to challenge the drivers from Ferrari and Mercedes. Ultimately, Perez finished the race in P6.

Perez has now come under heavy criticism, with speculation having arisen of his seat being at risk. Not finishing on the podium in the rocket ship that is the RB19 isn’t where he nor the team aspires to be. His title hopes evaporated, with Verstappen showing no quarter at the top of the grid.

Sergio Perez faces a considerable challenge in the championship, trailing 69 points behind his teammate Max Verstappen. Closing such a significant gap will be a herculean task for the Mexican driver. He is also being attacked by Fernando Alonso, who is just 9 points behind him now. Hence, the Canadian GP may have been the final nail in the coffin of Perez’s 2023 title charge.

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