F1 journalist, Tom Clarkson, has put in his two cents regarding Sergio Perez’s current contract situation with Red Bull. While whispers are flying about whether Perez’s performance has been up to par to warrant his continued place on the team, Clarkson has offered his own perspective.
Sergio Perez is currently under contract with Red Bull until the close of 2024, but rumours are swirling about his place on the team. The Austrian team has swept the board in the 2023 season, securing victory in every single race. Out of the seven races so far, Perez has bagged two wins.
Perez’s current season report card, in addition to his two victories, includes two second-place finishes, a fourth and fifth place finish, as well as one disappointing sixteenth-place finish. He also triumphed in the sole sprint race in Azerbaijan up to this point in the season.
However, the performance discrepancy between Perez and his fellow teammate, Max Verstappen, who has surged ahead by 53 points in the championship, is what’s drawing attention.
During an episode of the F1 Nation podcast, Clarkson shared his take on Perez’s standing within the Red Bull ensemble. He clarified:
“I think Perez has underperformed. I think you only get to the top in elite sport – any sport – but especially Formula 1, where you have to be competitive with yourself.
“It’s all about achieving at the highest level and Perez has been left wanting and that creates pressure, especially when you have drivers like Lando Norris, who have flirted with Red Bull in the past.”
Several contenders have been suggested throughout the season as possible substitutes for Perez. Notable mentions include Norris, who has a long-standing contract with McLaren, along with Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo. Clarkson continued his thoughts:
“Okay, he’s got a long term contract with McLaren. But there are other worthy drivers out there of that second seat at Red Bull and we’ve seen time and again in Formula One that driver contracts aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.
“You know if two parties want to do a deal, it will happen. So Perez has got to keep performing in a support role right now.
“It’s a sort of nothing role now as well as he’s got to keep performing to show that he’s worthy of the seat, but equally he’s got to be the team player as well. So it’s a really frustrating second half of the season for Perez coming up.”