Helmut Marko believes that Sergio Perez is doing a better job at supporting Verstappen than Valterri Bottas is doing at supporting Lewis Hamilton in this season’s championship fight.

The French Grand Prix saw Sergio Perez, who started right behind Bottas at fourth, snatch his second consecutive podium for Redbull. The pressure Perez was able to put on Bottas was crucial to Redbull’s victory and double podium at Paul Ricard.

The winning strategy of the day was a two-stop strategy, however, the one-stopper was not as weak as Bottas made it seem. Ross Brawn, F1’s managing director, supported this by saying: “What Lewis demonstrated was his ability to bring more out of tires in difficult circumstances compared with Valterri, who obviously took more life out of the tires.”

This news certainly elated the likes of Helmut Marko, advisor and head of the driver development program for Redbull Racing, as he told Sport1:

“It’s clear that Perez is currently doing better than Bottas. That’s exactly what we want and need, and what we missed in recent years. He is more than Max’s wingman. When Max is unlucky, like with his blowout in Baku, Sergio is there to win the race for us.”

“That’s why we hired Perez. He is not called the tyre whisperer for nothing. That is why he could drive a one-stop in France, and that’s why he got close enough to Mercedes to make them unsure. And that’s why at the end he was able to overtake Bottas, who was on the same strategy.”

“Mercedes has seen that too. They can’t play with the strategy anymore like they did in other years. And they are already making mistakes. Perez will become even stronger in the future, and the pressure on Mercedes will only increase.”

I’m an Indian who aspires to be a motorsports journalist. My involved interest in motorsports, especially in the Formula series, is driven by the stakes and need for perfection required on and off track.