Jacques Villeneuve has urged Sergio Perez’s father to “stay out” of the controversial public discussions about his son’s place in Formula 1.
After the team orders controversy of Brazil, the discord between Red Bull drivers Perez and Max Verstappen was still a topic of conversation in Abu Dhabi.
That’s when Perez’s father Antonio weighed in by talking to Mexican newspaper Esto.
“Max has never had such a good teammate as Checo,” he said. “The rest were all subordinate. Checo wins the races that Max cannot win – the very difficult ones.”
According to 1997 world champion Villeneuve, Perez senior “should stay out of it”.
“In this era, parents have a big voice that is heard everywhere,” the Canadian told the Dutch magazine Formule 1. “But that should not happen. They should not get involved.
“That is also why you see Jos Verstappen being less and less visible – he’s being kept out more and more and that’s a good thing.”
Villeneuve also thinks Perez needs to be mindful that his seat alongside Verstappen is one of the most coveted in all of Formula 1.
“He was strong early in the season, after that I thought he was invisible,” said the 51-year-old. “2023 will be important for him.
“Red Bull will soon have Daniel Ricciardo in reserve, although he will also be used a lot for marketing and media activities. He is good at that.
“They are also talking to Lando Norris, although you shouldn’t place too much significance in that. Teams always have to plan ahead.”
Fellow former F1 driver Christijan Albers is also critical of Perez after the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi – especially his claim that Verstappen should have had better pace in the second stint.
“That is really a bullsh*t story that he was held up,” the Dutchman told De Telegraaf.
“What Abu Dhabi showed is that calling Perez the ‘tyre whisperer’ is finally over. I’ve never really seen it, actually.
“Max is ten times better at it than he is. I don’t even understand why Red Bull gave him a new two-year contract. In the beginning I was enthusiastic about it, because it gives Max peace. Now I’m done with it.
“He is the worst-performing teammate,” Albers insists. “I’d like to see Norris or Russell there instead. F*ck it – take a little risk.”