Perez’s Role at Red Bull: ‘to finish second’, remarks dad

Sergio Perez’s designated spot at Red Bull seems to be “second place”, a step behind colleague Max Verstappen.

This is the insight given by the Mexican driver’s own father, Antonio, amidst increasing whispers about the 33-year-old’s future, especially given his recent performance dip.

While Perez is confirmed at Red Bull for 2024, many insiders and experts believe the team might be gearing up for a potential change.

“Everyone around him is working their behind off, giving him a great car and he drives so much slower than Verstappen and makes these stupid mistakes,” observed former F1 racer Ralf Schumacher.

“In my opinion he won’t be driving at Red Bull next year.”

Not surprisingly, Antonio Perez, both a figure in Mexican politics and motor racing, stands by his son.

“The most solid driver in Formula 1 today is called Checo Perez,” he shared with Mexican daily, Esto.

“You can see how many fans he has in the world – all the Mexican flags in Japan,” added the elder Perez.

“He is the only Latin American, and when you add to that how many fans there are, any brand in the world would like to have a Checo Perez with them.”

Acknowledging his son’s challenges in 2023, Antonio said, “but he continues to fight”.

“The car is made for Max because he drives with all the grip at the front and Checo has always driven with the grip at the rear,” he clarified.

“The position Checo is in is the one he was hired for – second place. There is only one champion and you have to understand that. He has to work for it and respect it.

“All this was built for Max to be champion. But if he (Perez) moved to another team, he would be fourth or sixth,” he further commented.

Red Bull showed its frustration after Perez’s outing at Suzuka, yet team chief Christian Horner reassured his support for Perez, saying, “Sergio has had a hard time in the last couple of races, but he will definitely come back. He has some traditionally strong tracks coming up.

“Although this was clearly a painful weekend for him, he played a key role in this constructors’ title. Now we just have to focus on keeping him second place in the drivers’ championship,” Horner concluded.

At present, Perez trails Verstappen by a hefty 177 points, but is just 33 points ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, with six races remaining.