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Sergio Perez Given Till 2024 Summer Break as Red Bull Narrows Down Replacement Options

Aishwary Gaonkar

Sergio Perez Given Till 2024 Summer Break as Red Bull Narrows Down Replacement Options

The 2024 season may bring the end of Sergio Perez’s time at Red Bull. After a struggle-filled season last year, the Mexican driver is under pressure to deliver better performances. Especially, with his contract expiring at the end of 2024, Perez will have to step up his game if he wishes to stay with the Milton Keynes-based outfit beyond this year. The team’s advisor, Helmut Marko, has given a deadline till the summer break to observe the 34-year-old’s performance and make a decision on their 2025 driver lineup.

According to the Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung, Marko said, “Checo has to deliver consistent performance. It’s clear that he can’t always drive at Verstappen’s level. If he comes second in the World Championship and gets one or two wins, he will certainly be an option for 2025.”

Perez struggled badly in qualifying last season, especially after his Monaco GP crash. He consistently missed Q3 and was out of position to be able to back and support Max Verstappen in the races. While Marko appreciates Perez as a “team player“, he expected a better and more consistent showing from the #11 driver.

If Perez fails to improve in 2024, Red Bull have options galore to replace him. Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda at Visa Cash App RB are vying for that seat for next year. Now, Marko has stated that around and after the “summer break” they will look to have talks with external options besides the RB drivers.

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These external options include Carlos Sainz, who is a free agent following Ferrari’s signing of Lewis Hamilton. Besides Sainz, even Alex Albon was rumored to be in the Red Bull scheme of things, but he has a contract till 2025 at Williams. Therefore, Perez will definitely need to look over his shoulder and do well in 2024.

Can Sergio Perez better himself against Max Verstappen in 2024?

Following the conclusion of pre-season testing in Bahrain last week, Max Verstappen looks like the favorite to win the 2024 title as well. Red Bull have once again produced a strong consistent car that is likely to help Verstappen also dominate this year.

However, the same cannot be said about Sergio Perez. The 34-year-old did not have a smooth test in Bahrain as he faced several issues with his car. Even from a driving perspective, the #11 driver did not look as comfortable as Verstappen. Perez had slower lap times even when his RB20 was technically good without any issues.

Thus, it may be the same story in 2024, with Perez two or three-tenths behind Verstappen on raw pace. While the season’s first race will give the real picture, the Mexican driver is not looking any better than 2023.

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Auto Motor und Sport also suggested that Perez may be facing some psychological issues, given his lack of competitive pace against Verstappen. This is because Perez was at times seven-tenths off Verstappen’s pace. Now, while there are arguments about different programs and high fuel levels, that goes for the Dutchman too.

Besides this, the psychological pressure of having only two wins relative to Verstappen’s 19 in 2023 will be something that will nag Perez for a long time. To tackle that, Marko suggested that Perez should not worry about Verstappen in his mind. According to Marko, the Mexican should rather focus on his own performances.

Post Edited By:Vidit Dhawan

About the author

Aishwary Gaonkar

Aishwary Gaonkar


Aishwary Gaonkar is the F1 Editor at The SportsRush. Having written over 757 articles about different aspects of the sport, Aishwary passionately likes to dive deep into the intricacies of the on-track events. He has been an avid F1 fan since the 2011 season, amid Sebastian Vettel's dominance. Besides the 4-time champion, he also likes Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen. Among the current drivers, he thinks Charles Leclerc and Oscar Piastri have championship-winning caliber. Longing for a Ferrari world championship, Aishwary is also a fan of Aston Martin's underdog story and their bid to win the F1 championship. Other than F1, he follows tennis and cricket too.

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