The Red Bull duo have each won in the first two races of the F1 2023 season, but their occasionally spiky relationship has also resurfaced.

Even as Perez won in Saudi Arabia, he was pipped to the bonus point for the fastest lap by Verstappen, causing questions for who Red Bull had favoured.

Why have Mercedes & Red Bull dominated F1 so much?

“They are letting us race, to be fair to the team,” Perez told Sky.

“In Bahrain there was no reason to keep pushing, and in Jeddah there was no reason to keep pushing, because we were at similar pace.

“As a team, we have to think that it’s better to finish with two cars, rather than missing one.

“We’re in a good place. Everything is magnified by the media when we’re not at race weekends.

“There is a good atmosphere in the team.

“Obviously, we want to beat each other. But there is respect in the team.”

The F1 Australian Grand Prix, the third race of the season this weekend, is the next opportunity for Red Bull to reassert their dominance.

Perez could prove to be the biggest threat to his teammate’s hopes of a third consecutive championship.

The race in Melbourne will also be a test for the Red Bull team, and the delicate balancing act of keeping two competitive drivers happy.

Perez and Verstappen’s fiery relationship came to the fore at the end of last season, even with the drivers’ and constructors’ championships sewn up.

Verstappen refused team orders to assist Perez, citing a moment earlier in the season when he claimed his teammate’s crash cost him crucial ground in the title chase.

They will come under the magnifying glass again in Melbourne.