Red Bull is reportedly facing pressure to dismiss Sergio Perez due to ongoing tensions with his teammate Max Verstappen. Despite this, the Mexican driver has performed admirably this year, keeping pace with the defending champion.
In fact, both Red Bull drivers have won two races each in the season’s first four rounds, with only six points separating them in the drivers’ standings.
Despite the team’s recent success, it’s important to note that Verstappen and Perez have had their share of disagreements. This tension has been evident since Verstappen refused to yield to Perez in Brazil last year, leading to ongoing issues within the team.
According to Ralf Schumacher’s column in Sky Germany, creating a more harmonious driver pairing for the future would be the sensible move for the team. Given Max Verstappen’s status as a double champion and his long-term contract, Schumacher believes that Sergio Perez would be the one to depart if he had a say in the matter.
Schumacher acknowledges that Perez had a strong showing in Azerbaijan and has the potential to outpace Verstappen on occasion. However, he questions Perez’s consistency compared to Verstappen in the context of the world championship battle.
“Sergio Perez drove strongly in Azerbaijan. He also has the potential here and there to be faster than Max Verstappen. But with a view to the world championship fight, I don’t think he has the consistency of Verstappen”, Ralf Schumacher wrote in his Sky Germany column.
“He sometimes makes a mistake under pressure when he’s not too happy with the car. Verstappen doesn’t make those mistakes and so I think he’ll be the better driver throughout the year.”
Ralf Schumacher, a former Formula One driver who has won six races, suggested two potential candidates that Red Bull could pursue if they decide to replace Perez.
He added: “There are many rumours circulating in the paddock about Perez’s future. Red Bull would have options.
“There’s Yuki Tsunoda, Daniel Ricciardo is still there and there are enough drivers on the market too. If there is a troubled relationship between Verstappen and Perez then it would make sense to part ways with the Mexican.”
Daniel Ricciardo has returned to Red Bull as a reserve driver but reportedly desires a race seat for the 2024 season. Meanwhile, Yuki Tsunoda initially faced difficulties in performing well in Formula One, but he has recently shown impressive form with AlphaTauri by achieving consecutive points finishes in the past two races.
As team boss Franz Tost prepares to depart, he hinted that Tsunoda might be ready to make the leap to Red Bull soon.