Cyril Abiteboul, former team boss of Renault F1, has claimed a superior Max Verstappen has ‘broken’ his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez – such is his stunning dominance the past two seasons.
Perez started the season brilliantly, with two wins in the first four weekends plus a sprint victory in Azerbaijan.
But he has since fallen apart while Verstappen has wrapped up a third-straight title in style, breaking his own record for most wins in a season.
Abiteboul has praised Red Bull for their utter dominance, comparing it to the previous eight-year reign of Mercedes.
He told Franceinfo: “Mercedes’ dominance was due to one element: the engine. It was exceptional.
“Everyone has had their ups and downs, their moments of brilliance and their problems. But Red Bull has just walked on water.
“It’s amazing because they seem impervious to all variables, be it wind, temperature or ground effect. That makes their dominance even more impressive.
“It’s cruel. Verstappen is so strong that he is able to push a driver like Sergio Pérez, who has been through a lot, to the ground and break him.
“There is a lot of maturity from Red Bull and Max,” said Abiteboul.
The best car is in the hands of the best driver of the moment. At 26 years old, the Dutchman already has 52 victories, and can tie Sebastian Vettel for third if he wins in Las Vegas this weekend.
Even when he misses out on pole, Jos Verstappen’s son manages fantastic comebacks: from 15th place on the grid to 2nd place in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, from 9th to 1st in Miami or even from 6th to winner in Belgium.
“He manages to go up and overtake in traffic without making mistakes, by being patient,” said Abiteboul.