Red Bull has swiftly rejected sensational speculations that Sergio Perez is on the brink of announcing his immediate exit from Formula 1.
Despite his contract running through 2024, the 33-year-old’s shaky performance has led to conjecture that he may bid farewell to Red Bull, either during his upcoming home race or by leaving the sport altogether.
A spokesperson for Red Bull dismissed the rumours, asserting, “There’s absolutely nothing to it,” in a statement to Auto Motor und Sport.
Dr. Helmut Marko, the team’s consultant, echoed this sentiment, stating, “I don’t know anything about that.”
In fact, Marko went on to dispute claims that Perez has been struggling consistently since the Spanish GP in June, pointing out, “He made it to the podium four times after that and showed a few great comebacks like at the Red Bull Ring and in Monza.”
Strangely, these Perez retirement rumours have surfaced just as news emerges of Daniel Ricciardo’s readiness to return to the Alpha Tauri cockpit this weekend in Austin.
Ricciardo showcased his recovery from a broken hand by driving an old Red Bull car in Nashville over the weekend, affirming, “I’ve been in the simulator, everything went fine, the hand works well, and I’m ready to get behind the wheel.” The Australian is considered a strong candidate to replace Perez next year.
Should Perez indeed depart and Ricciardo take his place, it would open up the Alpha Tauri seat for the promising reserve driver, Liam Lawson, in the upcoming season.
Frans Verschuur, a respected figure in Dutch racing circles, questioned the significance of contracts in Formula 1, remarking, “He (Perez) has a contract, but what are contracts worth in Formula 1? Nyck de Vries also thought he had a contract, and then he was gone.”
Verschuur concluded, “I think it all depends on what he does now in these last races. Will he make a mess of things again as he has recently?”