Max Verstappen and Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez say there is no “rivalry” between them; watch the Mexico City GP live this weekend on Sky Sports F1, with practice up first from 7.30pm on Friday. Sunday’s race is at 8pm
Last Updated: 27/10/23 12:30am
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have dismissed suggestions of a rivalry between them as false, amid concerns over the world champion facing a hostile atmosphere at his Red Bull team-mate’s home race in Mexico this weekend.
Verstappen faced some booing after winning last year’s race in Mexico and was once more on the end of apparent hostility after triumphing in last weekend’s United States Grand Prix, with some suggesting Perez fans were responsible.
The organisers of the Mexico City Grand Prix earlier in October launched a ‘Racepect’ campaign promoting tolerance and respect for all drivers, which was accompanied by a statement saying that “insults and unpleasant behaviour cannot go unnoticed, nor be allowed to continue”.
Asked by Sky Sports F1 whether he feared unsavoury scenes this weekend, Perez said: “Not at all and I think it’s important that we give this message [of respect] because media likes to create these sort of rivalries outside the track.
“We are a great sport and we are a great example of a lot of young generations and we should just be focused on the sports side.
“Whatever happens on track should always stay there and that’s the best message we as a country want to give to the rest of the world.
“There is nothing else going on, the most important (thing) is everything stays on track.”
The relationship between the team-mates came under major scrutiny at last November’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix when furious messages were exchanged over radio after Verstappen refused an instruction to allow Perez past him on the final lap.
Since that flashpoint there has been little public friction between the pair, with Verstappen’s dominance while cruising to his third successive drivers’ title diffusing any potential tension.
Asked about a rivalry between the pair, Verstappen said: “That’s made up.
“Checo and I, we get on really well. For us, I don’t think there is any rivalry.
“Of course, as a driver on track you always try to be first or faster, but we have a lot of respect for each other and we appreciate each other’s performances.”
When to watch the Mexico City GP live only on Sky Sports F1
Friday 27 October
7pm: Mexico City GP Practice One
8:45pm: The F1 Show
10:45pm: Mexico City GP Practice Two (also on Sky Sports Main Event)
Saturday 28 October
6.15pm: Mexico City GP Practice Three
9pm: Mexico City GP Qualifying build-up (also on Sky Sports Main Event)
10pm: Mexico City GP Qualifying (also on Sky Sports Main Event)
Sunday 29 October
6.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday Mexico City GP build-up (also on Sky Sports Main Event)
8pm: The MEXICO CITY GRAND PRIX (also on Sky Sports Main Event)
10pm: Chequered Flag: Mexico City GP
F1 is in Mexico for the middle leg of the Americas triple header. Watch the whole Mexico City Grand Prix weekend live on Sky Sports F1 from Friday, with Sunday’s race at 8pm. Stream F1 on Sky Sports with NOW