Saturday, Oct 01

Emerson Fittipaldi: Checo Perez will give Max Verstappen a hard time and he can win at Paul Ricard

Saturday, Jul 23 359
Emerson Fittipaldi: Checo Perez will give Max Verstappen a hard time and he can win at Paul Ricard Getty Images

As F1 heads to Circuit Paul Ricard this weekend, motorsport legend Emerson Fittipaldi gave his views to VegasInsider. Here's what he had to say:


  • Checo Perez is getting more self-confident - he will give Max a hard time and this can cause some friction at Red Bull

"I'm sure both Max Verstappen and Checo Perez will be strong contenders and I go even further. In my opinion, Checo Perez, he is growing, he's getting more self-confidence. he's getting stronger and stronger on every Grand Prix. If his mindset this weekend is fixed to win, he has the talent, he has the speed to win."

"I think he's going to give a hard time to Max from now on. I have this feeling because he's extremely self-confident now. He knows he has the talent, the speed and he's not anymore a shadow to Max. He's reality. He's there. He's a contender, he's strong."

"This is my belief and this is my opinion that Checo Perez will be running strong. Very strong and I think this is going to create some friction because of his performance. Not that Max is slowing down. Max is an extremely talented driver. He's the world champion. He's leading the championship. But Checo is there. He's there and he's strong."

  • Red Bull have become a better team because of Checo Perez becoming stronger

"What makes Red Bull so good is because they never expected Checo Perez to come to this level."

"Now that Checo is there and it is a very strong team because two drivers are running very strong. Before, they have Max and a second driver. Now Checo is there and I think he makes it a very strong team."

 In my opinion, Helmut Marko never expected Sergio to come to this high level of driving and performance. I think it could be very interesting, from now to the end of the year, the competition inside the Red Bull team."

"And for sure, Adrian Newey's genius ability of designing a car, to use the maximum performance of the new rules this year. Honda has tremendous power now. It is a combination of circumstances that make Red Bull very, very strong."


  • At Paul Ricard, I expect Ferrari to be quicker than Red Bull

"Paul Ricard circuit is a very special surface. Very special type of asphalt and you have some off-canvas corners. Difficult to get the right apex. It looks a simple track but it's not so simple."

"But in my opinion if you look at this year's average, Ferrari has been the fastest car, on average, on every different circuit. Paul Ricard is quite a different circuit. My opinion, Ferrari is going to be faster than Red Bull."

"For Ferrari to be stronger, they have to be reliable. They need to finish the race. But when they finish, they're strong."


Thanks again to VegasInsider for their insight. You can find the entire interview here.


Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for, where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of

Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network. 

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