Sergio Perez DELETES tweet insisting ‘I want to be a champion’ as he outlines his intentions to rival Max Verstappen for the F1 world title this season, amid rising tension between the team-mates following Saudi Grand Prix
Sergio Perez hastily deleted a tweet which outlined his intention to challenge Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen for the 2023 F1 title, amid rising tension between the pair.
Perez was victorious in the second event of this year’s race calendar in Saudi Arabia last week, with Verstappen coming second – a reverse on the result from the season opener in Bahrain when the Dutchman won.
Verstappen is aiming to win his third successive title after triumphing last year by a massive 146 points, while Perez finished third in the standings.
However, the Dutchman was clearly not happy with Perez emerging victorious on Sunday, with his dad, Jos, failing to acknowledge the Mexican after his win.
There was also an awkward moment when Perez found out Verstappen secured an extra point for registering the fastest lap of the race on the final lap, with the race winner then calling for Red Bull to conduct an ‘information’ review.
Sergio Perez (R) hastily deleted a tweet which outlined his intention to challenge Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen (L) for the 2023 F1 title, amid rising tension between the pair
Perez tweeted he wanted ‘to be a champion’ this season, before replacing it with a new version
And after the race, Perez took to Twitter to outline his intentions during this season.
He said: ‘It was tougher than I thought, but in the end I’m happy to get my fifth victory in F1.
‘Very happy with the result of the team. We are going to keep pushing very hard. I want to be a champion.’
However, soon after, the tweet was deleted and Perez re-posted something along similar lines, but omitted his ‘title ambitions’.
He tweeted: ‘It was tougher than I thought, but in the end I’m happy to get my fifth F1 victory. Very happy with the result of the team. We will continue to push very hard.’
It remains to be seen what impact the deleted tweet has on their relationship, with Verstappen not afraid to express his frustrations with his car following the race in Jeddah rather than praise Perez.
The 25-year-old had fumed: ‘Now again, after three positive practice sessions, I have an issue in qualifying. Of course, I recovered to second which is good.
‘In general the whole feeling in the team, everyone is happy – but personally I’m not happy because I’m not here to be second.’
The emotions of Verstappen (L) and Perez (R) after the race in Saudi Arabia were very different
It also comes after another controversial incident in last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix – the penultimate race of the 2022 calendar – when Verstappen defied team orders and refused to give up a place to Perez.
This contributed to him eventually finishing in third place behind runner-up Charles Leclerc in the drivers’ standings.
At the time, Perez had expressed his anger on the team radio when he said: ‘This shows who he (Verstappen) really is.’
F1 enjoys a break this week, before returning for the Australian Grand Prix next weekend.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk