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Helmut Marko Pulls the Age Card in Latest Challenge to Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez for Red Bull Seat

Vidit Dhawan

Marko Pulls the Age Card in Latest Challenge to Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez for Red Bull Seat

The Red Bull F1 team has been gathering the spotlight recently not just for the domination they have showcased on track but also for the amount of talent they have on their side. Double world champion Max Verstappen has already helped the team clinch their sixth Constructors’ Championship after he won his 13th race of the 2023 season at Suzuka last weekend. While the Dutchman’s place in the team seems confirmed, there are doubts over the second seat. Sergio Perez has come under increasing pressure because of his inconsistent performances this season. Amid the Mexican’s poor form, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has issued, both, him and Daniel Ricciardo a challenge.

While Red Bull have confirmed Perez for 2024, they still have to make a decision for 2025 and beyond. In the case that the Milton Keynes outfit decide to part ways with the 33-year-old, then Ricciardo is the favorite to replace him despite having turned 34 earlier this year.

Since Red Bull have a philosophy of promoting younger talent, they do not seem to have been doing so recently. First, the side signed Perez before their sister team, AlphaTauri, signed Ricciardo recently.

It is for this reason that Marko believes there is increased pressure on both Perez and Ricciardo. The Austrian believes that both drivers need to prove that they are deserving of their seats in the sport.

Helmut Marko issues Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo a challenge

Since both Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo are over 30, Helmut Marko admitted that Red Bull also needs to think about the team’s future. As a result, the Austrian said that the team needs to have discussions with both their drivers to see for how long the two can continue driving.

As quoted by RBR Daily, the 80-year-old told Sky Sport Formel 1, “Of course, we have to think about the future. Both Daniel Ricciardo and Checo Perez are over 30, and that depends on the two of them, what their ideas are, how long they want to drive, and we have to be prepared for that“.

While Marko has admitted that Red Bull does have concerns about their team’s future, they also do have two other bright young talents in Yuki Tsunoda and Liam Lawson. The Japanese driver helped steer AlphaTauri through their struggles in the first half of the 2023 season and has also scored three points so far. On the other hand, Lawson has been extremely impressive in just his first three F1 races so far.

Red Bull guarantees Liam Lawson a drive in 2025

Since Liam Lawson has already scored a couple of points in his first three F1 races, Red Bull have reportedly guaranteed him a drive in 2025 for either their own team or AlphaTauri. As per the rumor, the team did so as the New Zealander agreed to be their reserve driver for the 2024 season.

The 21-year-old has been so impressive that he has also received the praises of Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. As quoted by RBR News, the Briton said, “We’ve seen what he’s capable of. He’s got the opportunity this weekend. It’s 50/50 regarding Qatar at the moment. So he’s done the right thing“.

Horner then concluded his remarks by stating that Lawson has done everything that the team expected of him when he stepped in for the injured Daniel Ricciardo. Since the Australian is still on the sidelines due to a wrist injury, Lawson could also replace him in Qatar. The Grand Prix weekend at the Lusail International Circuit will take place from October 6 to 8.

About the author

Vidit Dhawan

Vidit Dhawan


Vidit Dhawan is the F1 writer and Editor at The SportsRush. He fell in love with the sport at first sight when F1 visited India in 2011. The noise and the racing action from lights out and away we go to the chequered flag are what keeps him at the edge of his seat at all times. Vidit has been a lifelong Fernando Alonso fan and sees Charles Leclerc as the future of the sport. Other than F1, he also follows football and tennis closely.

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