Sergio Perez ‘needs to leave Red Bull’ as Marko hints that his days are numbered

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has claimed that Sergio Perez should leave his career and rebuild elsewhere as he continues to struggle up against team-mate Max Verstappen. He is currently set to be out of contract at the end of 2024.

Perez has previously had the support of the Red Bull hierarchy with team principal Christian Horner regularly batting for the Mexican driver’s ability, but after a dismal showing in both the Japanese and Qatar Grands Prix, patience is running out.

Checo managed to claim just a single point from a possible 34 available in Qatar, crashing out of the sprint race after tangling with Esteban Ocon and Nico Hulkenberg before picking up three five-second penalties for track limit violations in the Grand Prix, relegating him to tenth place. 

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“You mustn’t forget, I brought him to the team back then,” Marko told Austrian news outlet OE24. “But this is simply Verstappen’s fate, he is suffering now. That was already the case with Gasly, after a weak performance at the Red Bull Ring, he was already lapped at the next race in Hungary.

“Seen this way, [Gerhard] Berger’s statement [about Perez] is the right one: He needs a change in climate and team. Now let’s see how the next two races go. But the team and he are aware that he is in a crisis.”

Berger’s comment in question came after the Dutch Grand Prix. He told Speed Week: “With Perez, it’s not a mental problem or anything like that. He’s a normal driver, a good driver, with a team-mate who is an exceptional talent.

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“If Sergio is intelligent, he will find himself another team where he can break the deadlock and show his performance there. But he will never be able to consistently beat Max.”

With five races of the 2023 season remaining, Perez sits second in the standings, although with Lewis Hamilton just 30 points further back and showing impressive consistency this year, his finishing position is far from guaranteed.

Red Bull have never recorded a one-two finish in the Drivers’ Championship standings in their proud F1 history and are desperate to capitalise on the dominance of the RB19 by managing that feat in 2023. Perez’s form, however, is jeopardising that.

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