Sergio Perez won the iconic Monaco Grand Prix for Red Bull (Photo: Getty)

Nico Rosberg believes Sergio Perez has what it takes to win the Formula One world title after the Red Bull driver was victorious at Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Perez took advantage of a Ferrari tactical blunder to win the chaotic – and very wet – race, with Carlos Sainz Jr. second and Max Verstappen third.

It was somewhat of a redemption story for the Mexican who was denied the chance to fight for victory against Verstappen at the previous grand prix in Spain, with Red Bull team boss Christian Horner effectively ordering Perez to yield the lead of the race to his team-mate.

But after an impressive performance at Monaco, where he was quicker than Verstappen all weekend, Rosberg thinks Perez was proving a point to the team’s hierarchy.

‘The best way to say, “Don’t do that with me, guys, I want to fight for the World Championship as well here”, and what a brilliant weekend, everything perfect,’ the 2016 world champion told Sky Sports.

‘And let’s not underestimate how difficult it is to do those out-laps in those conditions and get the timings right and everything – just spectacular.’

Perez is now just 15 points behind championship leader Verstappen (Photo: Getty)

The result has left Perez third in the standings, just 15 points behind leader Verstappen, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc sandwiched in-between.

Last year, Perez played the wingman role to Verstappen, helping the Dutchman win the title, and many expected more of the same in 2022, but after his incredible start to this season, the 32-year-old is now fully in the title fight.

‘Yeah, incredible, you wouldn’t really expect it but he’s right there,’ Rosberg added.

‘And he’s also much closer pace-wise to Verstappen this year. So, let’s see how the next couple of races pan out, but it’s great.’

Red Bull may not see it that way, however, as the constructor has notoriously been a ‘one-man team’ in the past, which has led to several high-profile controversies between their drivers, most notably with Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, and Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.

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Nevertheless, Horner was still impressed with Perez and hinted that he was looking to extend the three-time grand prix winner’s contract beyond the end of 2022.

‘He just needs to keep doing what he’s doing,’ the Red Bull chief said.

‘He’s doing a great job, we are very happy with him. He’s driven extremely well so far this year.

‘The delta between him and Max has diminished significantly compared to last season. I think he’s happier in the car. He’s achieved that fantastic pole position already in Saudi Arabia this year.

‘He’s driven some great races and is a team player. I don’t think there’s anyone better in the pit lane. [Contract] talks should hopefully be reasonably straightforward.’


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