Max Verstappen reveals Sergio Perez’s new nickname after Abu Dhabi heroics

Perez held up Hamilton to help Verstappen’s title chances in Abu Dhabi

New Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen has revealed he has given teammate Sergio Perez a new nickname following his superb performance at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

In the final race of the season, Perez brilliantly fended off Lewis Hamilton for long enough to bring the Dutchman back into contention.

Verstappen then went on to pass Hamilton in an incredibly dramatic final lap to claim his first world title in F1.

And while Perez has gone by the name ‘Checo’ during his career, Verstappen insists he now has a new title for his Red Bull partner.

Speaking in a video reflecting on a triumphant year for Red Bull, the new F1 world champion said: “He [Perez] is the minister of defence now.”

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner then added: “He’s been a great teammate this year, I think. The ambience between you guys has been fantastic – he says you owe him a beer for Abu Dhabi.”

To which Verstappen replied: “Oh, I’ll pay a lot of beers. It’s going to be good.”

In the same clip, the 24-year-old Dutchman also reflected on a memorable Mexico Grand Prix in which he claimed victory and teammate Perez finished third in front of his home crowd.

Verstappen said: “When we got there, the fans were already really crazy. Of course, a lot of Checo fans but now having Checo in the team, it was full of Red Bull everywhere.

“Really happy I won the race but I was also super-happy to see Checo on the podium for his home grand prix. Checo’s dad was celebrating – I think he’s still celebrating!”

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