Jolyon Palmer doesn't see Sergio Perez launching a title challenge

Even though Sergio Perez is 15 points behind Max Verstappen in the title race, Jolyon Palmer doesn’t see the Monaco GP winner mounting a title tilt.

Seven days after the disappointment of the Spanish Grand Prix in which Perez said it was “unfair” that he was told to move over for Verstappen, he bagged his first win of the season in Monaco.

Perez raced to the chequered flag ahead of Carlos Sainz and Verstappen, closing the gap to his team-mate in the Drivers’ standings to just 15 points.

Two days later Red Bull announced that he had signed a new two-year contract, one that will keep him at Red Bull through to the end of the 2024 season.

But while team boss Christian Horner says both his drivers have a shot at this year’s title, Palmer does not believe the three-time grand prix winner has a title challenge in him.

Max Verstappen reckons he and Sergio Perez will still be mates even if the #F1 title race hots up.https://t.co/W8teeeMC2l

— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) June 2, 2022

“To be honest,” he told the BBC’s Chequered Flag podcast, “I don’t see Perez mounting a championship campaign.”

But given that Perez already has four podiums on the board, last season he managed just five the entire campaign, Palmer reckons Red Bull will have a tougher time enforcing team orders in Verstappen’s favour.

“He’s had a much better year,” the former driver turned pundit continued, “and I think that in itself is going to make the team orders thing less obvious to Red Bull. I know they did it in Barcelona, but there was the split strategies and that was what they they pinned it on or blamed it on.

“But in a normal race, I think it’s just uncomfortable for them to do team orders, particularly when Perez gets a win.

“He’s doing a good job. And he was genuinely quicker – Monaco is the outlier of the season though, and it doesn’t necessarily guarantee you pace in other places. We’ve seen that in the past. So it’s a bit of a specialist track.

“It’s just great that he’s that he’s another winner this year. And, and he’s not far off the championship lead.”

 

Horner, though, insists Red Bull’s Mexican driver has as good a chance of winning the title as does reigning World Champion Verstappen.

“He’s in this championship just as much as Max is. The difference between the two of them is 15 points now, it’s nothing, so it’s a long way to go in this championship,” he said.

Should it come down to a team-mate versus team-mate battle, both Perez and Verstappen are confident their relationship will not implode.

While Perez joking asked if they are “still going to be in love”, Verstappen replied: “Yeah, absolutely. Why would that change?”

He added: “We work really well as a team. We always try to optimise the car and work for the team and we can accept when somebody does a good job or does a better job and I think that’s very important because that’s how you are respectful to each other.

“Yeah, may the best man win at the end, right?”

 

 

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