Damon Hill makes feelings clear on Jos Verstappen after blanking Perez

Red Bull designer Newey admits 2023 looks 'tough' amid testing restrictions

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Former F1 world champion Damon Hill has taken a thinly-veiled swipe at Jos Verstappen after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The Dutchman, father of Red Bull star Max Verstappen, seemed to ignore Sergio Perez after taking the chequered flag ahead of his son.

Red Bull completed their second one-two in as many races with another barnstorming performance in Saudi Arabia on Sunday. This time, the roles were reversed from Bahrain two weeks prior as Perez clinched top spot and Verstappen came home just behind. 

Many felt that taking the second step on the podium was a positive result for Verstappen, having started in P15 due to a driveshaft failure in qualifying. However, the double world champion’s competitive spirit was unwavering as he stated, in no uncertain terms, that he does not turn up to finish second. 

That same competitive streak was evident in his father, Jos, after the chequered flag as he stood by and blanked Perez while he celebrated with his team. 

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Verstappen the senior has always been seen as a fiery figure, who stood for no nonsense during his own F1 career. Speaking to the F1 Nation podcast, Aston Martin ambassador Pedro de la Rosa was asked about his partnership with the 51-year-old while at Arrows in 2000.

“Jos the boss. He was a very good teammate actually,” responded the Spaniard. “We got on very well and never had any problems. He was always very straightforward and that’s always what you need from a teammate.”

At that point, Hill interjected and appeared to cast doubt on whether Verstappen was truly a joy to be around, saying: “I’m not sure whether Pedro is being totally sincere here.”

But De la Rosa came back with: “He was a good teammate, honestly. We were competitive. It’s good to have a teammate that pushes you a bit, I hate to have an easy teammate.”

Much was also made of the final-lap drama between the two Red Bulls in Jeddah, with Max Verstappen taking the extra point for setting the fastest lap-time at the death, much to the surprise of Perez.

The debacle raised fresh questions on favouritism in the Red Bull camp, and Hill has given his take on whether team boss Christian Horner and advisor Helmut Marko will let Perez have a fair crack at the title in 2023. 

“I’m sure they will, but I think they would prefer Max to win,” he explained. “And I think Max will ultimately prevail. I just don’t think Checo has the ultimate speed and ruthlessness that Max does, and the commitment to being quick.”

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