Lewis Hamilton: Sergio Perez ‘frustration’ with Mercedes star gives Red Bull new incentive

F1: Hamilton knighted in New Year’s Honours List

Sergio Perez could well be the man to help Max Verstappen deliver Red Bull’s world championship dream. And there is evidence to prove that the Mexican has the fire and drive within to try and end Lewis Hamilton’s and Mercedes’ dominance.

The Austrian company’s F1 team have decided to draft in Perez in place of British-Thai driver Alex Albon, who flattered to deceive last season.

Perez secured his maiden victory towards the end of the season at the Sakhir Grand Prix to showcase his world champion credentials.

While the deal to bring Perez across to Red Bull from Racing Point may only be on an initial one-year contract, Verstappen now has the perfect partner in crime to pose a serious threat to Mercedes for years to come.

While Perez may only have one win to his name, it’s clear he has the mindset of a winner.

Speaking in the summer of 2019 during his time with Racing Point, ‘Checo’ revealed Hamilton’s dominance was starting to eat away at him.

He told Mirror Sport at the time: “Yes it can be very frustrating, you know.

“We see in other racing series where there are more opportunities to overtake than Formula One.

“But, mainly the top 15 don’t have the chance to win. They have no chance. That is very, very difficult.”

That could soon be about to change and Hamilton knows it. In fact, the seven-time world champion is excited at the prospect of extra competition.

Last season he finished a staggering 124 points clear of his nearest rivals, the biggest ever margin in an F1 season.

Talks over a Mercedes contract extension are expected to be resolved shortly and with the clock ticking on his career, Hamilton wants to thrive under pressure.

He said on Red Bull’s capture of Perez: “Naturally, this makes Red Bull stronger, particularly with the way Sergio is performing.

“I think Sergio has driven incredibly well this year, and truly deserved a drive. I was so, so, so happy to hear he was taken on by one of the top teams and given this opportunity. I think it’s going to be an exciting battle to watch him up against Max.

“That’s going to make it much harder for us as a team, we’re going to have to really step up our game, because that’s going to be a battle we haven’t seen for some time, having the two drivers there fighting against us.

“But we relish that as a team, that’s what we work towards, we love the challenge and it’s going to make it that much more exciting.”

Hamilton may talk highly of his opposite number for now but Perez is plotting Mercedes’ downfall in his new seat and with Red Bull set to make wholesale aerodynamic changes to their RB16-B, there is every chance the signing could prove to be a game-changer.

His frustration with Hamilton’s lack of competition is the perfect ingredient for Red Bull’s title challenge.

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