The pair have won eight of the last 10 races between them as F1 reaches the halfway point of the season, though those numbers are heavily skewed in the Dutchman’s favour with just the Monaco Grand Prix seeing Perez triumph.
But the Mexican feels he has shown he has the ability to claw back ground and deliver consistently impressive results to become world champion himself, even if Verstappen’s form makes that a difficult challenge.
“Definitely [I can win]! If everything is right and I drive perfectly, I can beat anyone in Formula 1, Max [included] too. I’ve already shown that several times this season,” Perez said to Sport Bild.
“But unfortunately it won’t be a foregone conclusion. Max has incredible quality, is extremely mature for his age and has a very good feeling for the car.
“That’s why the question is not whether I can beat him on a weekend, but how many races I can finish ahead of him. It’s about consistency. That’s what makes a champion.”
Perez has claimed six podium finishes in 2022, but only once in the last five in a run which includes two DNFs. That fall-off has seen him lose ground in the drivers’ battle, with Leclerc also outscoring him during that streak.
But between his and Verstappen’s performances, Red Bull are way out in front in the constructor standings, now 97 clear of early pace-setters Ferrari.
Perez hailed the symbiotic work the duo are able to produce on a regular basis and stressed he had no doubts he was in the right place to try and succeed in achieving his ambitions.
“I’m with the best team in the world,” he continued.
“The amount of knowledge and talent that comes together here is unbelievable. With Max, I have an absolute world-class driver as my teammate. We get on well and work together to make Red Bull a success.
“But of course we are also competitors. Everyone wants to be the best. We always push each other to the next level. To compete against Max is a big challenge.”