Sergio Perez says Max Verstappen’s recent struggles in Formula 1 remind him of his difficult spell with McLaren, and the Mexican is backing the Red Bull driver to recover strongly. 

Verstappen has been involved in a spate of incidents during a tough start to 2018, including tangling with championship leader Lewis Hamilton in Bahrain and crashing into Sebastian Vettel in China.

The Dutchman was involved in a further collision with Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo during a chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which wiped both drivers out of the race on the spot. 

Having burst onto the F1 scene himself with an impressive two-year stint at Sauber, Perez endured his difficult patch after a switch to McLaren lasted just a single season after he was out-performed by then teammate Jenson Button on his way to 11th place in the drivers’ standings. 

“If I look back that cost me quite a lot in terms of reputation because everyone remembers that Jenson beat me but everyone forgets I out-qualified him and without those mistakes I had because I was impatient,” Perez said. 

“I was quite frustrated that my McLaren was not as quick as they told me it was going to be, they told me it was going to be many things -- and I lost a lot points because of that. 

“I think Max, certainly in the last couple of races, has been quite impatient and it’s a bit related to that,” he added. “He doesn’t have the performance on his car that he was hoping to have and he is overdoing it and he lost a win last week.

“I think experience in that aspect helps a lot. Seeing Ricciardo at the top of the podium [in China] was a massive hit for Max, so I’m sure he will learn and he will come back stronger. Max is an intelligent boy and will look at himself and see that he did wrong.”

When asked if he would alter his approach if he found himself racing Verstappen, Perez replied: “In a way you know when Max is behind he is going to try something quite crazy. But he, most of the time, has a control. 

“He lost that in the last couple of events. I’m sure he will grow up from this situation and Max is obviously a very good driver and someone you can fight hard.”



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