Pérez likens Verstappen rise to Räikkönen
21 August 2014 – Sergio Pérez sees no reason why Max Verstappen cannot succeed when he graduates to Formula 1.
Verstappen, who will be 17 by the time of his debut with Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso next year, is to make the step up to the top echelon after just one single-seater campaign in the European Formula 3 Championship.
Although he admits that the F1 paddock has been taken aback by the move, Pérez has likened the rise to former World Champion Kimi Räikkönen, who got the nod after limited Formula Ford and Formula Renault experience.
"It's a big surprise for all of us," Pérez explained to media at Spa-Francorchamps, including GPUpdate.net.
"I think if the guy has something special, Red Bull saw something. I've heard good things about him. It will be good to see how a young kid deals with all of these pressures, strategies... so many things you have to deal with.
"[But] Kimi, for example, after one year in Formula Renault, jumped into Formula 1, so you have cases like that."
The Force India driver summarised: "If the guy is good enough then he can succeed."