Every passing day hints that Sergio Perez should genuinely question the solidity of his Red Bull deal for 2024.
Red Bull stalwarts Dr Helmut Marko and Christian Horner are increasingly voicing their concerns regarding the Mexican Perez’s dwindling performance.
“We have a contract and we want to fulfil it,” the veteran team advisor Marko told the Austrian network ORF.
Yet, he also hinted that Red Bull possesses a robust lineup of signed drivers vying for Perez’s position, noting previous expressions of interest in McLaren’s Lando Norris.
“We have three drivers in Alpha Tauri and (Liam) Lawson serves as the backup driver for the four cars,” he mentioned.
“Numerous scenarios can unfold within that, but, not necessarily tied to Perez, it’s clear that Lawson is destined for an F1 seat sooner or later.”
Austrian Marko has expressed his concerns to the Kronen Zeitung newspaper, stating, “It’s not working with Perez at the moment.”
“We’re aiming to hold onto second,” he further mentioned, alluding to Red Bull’s aspiration for the 2023 season, a campaign where they wish to secure both top spots in the drivers’ rankings for the first time.
“Checo needs to step up,” Marko emphasised.
“Now that McLaren has two such strong drivers at the wheel, his performance becomes critical. For a while, Perez’s position looked quite comfortable, but now the lead is disappearing like snow in the sun,” he added.
Marko remarked that when Perez was excelling and there weren’t regular contenders from teams like Mercedes, Aston Martin, McLaren, and Ferrari, his position at Red Bull wasn’t a concern.
“It wasn’t a problem when we didn’t always have the same pursuers in the race,” he said. “Now it’s becoming critical.”