But Verstappen is drawing up plans to launch his biggest Drivers’ Championship challenge yet.
Perez, who finished fourth with Racing Point last term, has made the move to Red Bull to provide Verstappen with assistance.
And the Dutchman reckons his new ally can help to dethrone the defending champions.
“Sergio has been in F1 now for a while and has proven himself to be a good points scorer and I hope that as a team we can make it difficult for Mercedes especially, as they are still the favourites,” Max says.
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“What happens in the future is still a question mark but one thing I know for sure is that everyone is going to give their best and will be pushing flat out to make it work.”
Meanwhile, Red Bull chief Helmut Marko has claimed that his team’s engine is now on par with Mercedes.
”The preparation for this season is the best we have had in the last seven years,” he said.
“Honda has found more performance for 2021, and taken out the weaknesses.
”All in all, this improvement in the engine should ensure that we are on the level of Mercedes.
“However, we know they don’t sleep, so I hope their leap is not so big now that their engine is already in its eighth year.
“There were some problems in the preparation, but that was due to sloppiness. It was nothing that would indicate serious mechanical or electronic problems.”