Fighting with Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in this year’s championship has taken Sergio Perez to a “new level”, says the Mexican driver.

Dropped by Racing Point – now racing under the Aston Martin label – last season, Perez was facing the end of his Formula 1 career before Red Bull handed him a lifeline.

Signed as Verstappen’s 2021 team-mate to replace Alex Albon, Perez has twice put his RB16B on the podium, one of which was his Azerbaijan Grand Prix win.

That Sunday, the 31-year-old benefitted from Verstappen’s tyre failure to lead the race at the restart where he was challenged by Hamilton only for the Mercedes driver to make a mistake with his brakes, handing Perez an easy run to the line.

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