Formula 1

Red Bull Advisor Helmut Marko Raises Concerns Over Sergio Perez’s Consistency

Amidst Rumors of a Shakeup, Marko Regrets Lando Norris' Contract Expiry, Identifying Him as an Ideal Partner for Max Verstappen

In the fast-paced world of Formula 1, where precision and consistency are paramount, Red Bull’s top advisor Helmut Marko has once again taken a thinly veiled shot at his own driver, Sergio Perez. The remarks were made during a press event, where Marko openly criticized Perez’s perceived inconsistency on the track. This isn’t the first time Marko has raised concerns about Perez’s performance, and his comments have sparked discussions about the Mexican driver’s future with the team.

While addressing the press, Marko expressed his frustration over Perez’s struggles to maintain focus and deliver consistent results. This critique comes as a blow to Perez, who has been striving to prove himself as a valuable asset to the Red Bull racing lineup. Despite his recent successes and podium finishes, it seems that Marko is still not convinced of Perez’s ability to perform at the level expected of a Red Bull driver.

The timing of Marko’s comments is particularly interesting, as it coincides with the expiration of Lando Norris’ contract with McLaren in 2025. Marko was surprisingly vocal about his regret over Norris potentially becoming available on the market. He identified Norris as an ideal candidate to join forces with Red Bull’s star driver, Max Verstappen, citing their compatibility and potential for success as a dynamic duo on the track.

While Marko’s discontent with Perez is clear, it’s worth noting that the Mexican driver still has another year left on his contract with the Milton Keynes-based team. However, uncertainty surrounds Perez’s future with Red Bull, especially considering the team’s recent inclination to promote drivers from its sister team, AlphaTauri. Yuki Tsunoda’s contract with AlphaTauri is set to expire by the end of 2023, opening up the possibility of a driver shuffle within the Red Bull Racing family.

Adding to the intrigue is Perez’s own revelation about his aspirations for the future. The driver has expressed his desire to be part of a team where he can make meaningful contributions and consistently deliver strong performances. Furthermore, Perez has hinted that he holds some control over the extension of his contract with Red Bull, a decision he plans to make in the coming year.

The conflicting opinions within the Red Bull camp have fueled speculation about Perez’s future. Marko believes that the team should explore other options before the start of the next season, suggesting a potential replacement for Perez. On the other hand, Red Bull’s team principal, Christian Horner, is committed to honoring Perez’s contract until its conclusion at the end of the following year.

Marko’s criticism of Perez’s inconsistency isn’t just a private matter; he voiced his concerns during a program on Servus TV, making his reservations public. This move reflects the internal division within the team regarding Perez’s performance and his place within the Red Bull Racing lineup.

“Perez is not consistent, he is not always focused.

Interestingly, Marko seems to be leaning heavily towards the prospect of having Lando Norris replace Perez. What makes this potential change even more compelling is that neither Norris nor Verstappen have reservations about racing alongside each other. Marko’s endorsement of Norris as a suitable partner for Verstappen underscores the belief in Norris’s capabilities and the potential for a successful collaboration on the track.

In a surprising twist, Marko offered a rare moment of praise for Perez. He acknowledged the challenge of competing alongside a formidable opponent like Verstappen and recognized Perez’s determination to hold his ground. Despite the criticism, Marko acknowledged Perez’s resilience in the face of adversity, even if it came with an element of dissatisfaction.

“Perez has a contract until 2024 and Norris has a contract until 2025, unfortunately, it’s that long.

“He [Lando Norris] is definitely a candidate for us. At Toro Rosso, we had already reached an agreement with him at the time, until his manager realised there was an option for a McLaren contract. In terms of youth and speed, he would suit us very well. Sergio, on the other hand, is already over 30 and is expecting his fourth child. So he also has other interests, so you have to see what happens next.”

As the Formula 1 season unfolds, the intrigue surrounding Perez’s future with Red Bull continues to captivate the motorsport world. With divided opinions within the team’s leadership, the next chapter in this story remains uncertain. Will Perez overcome the consistency hurdle and secure his place in the Red Bull Racing lineup, or will the team explore new horizons with a different driver? The answers will reveal themselves as the racing season progresses.

“On the one hand, the seat in Red Bull is one of the most wanted, but on the other hand, you also have Max Verstappen as an opponent. You then need a very strong personality and also mentality. Perez is the one who has done the best of all drivers in recent years and also won races.”

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