Marko agrees that Perez needs a ’team change’
"You mustn’t forget that I brought Perez into the team"
Sergio Perez’s time at Red Bull appears to be running out - despite his 2024 contract.
On a Red Bull-owned Servus TV television program this week, F1 legend Gerhard Berger said it is clear that Mexican Perez’s future at the team is very much in doubt.
"Because of all these discussions about how long it will take until Red Bull separates from Perez, what I say is: Perez has to leave Red Bull," said the Austrian.
Berger likens it to his own past alongside the great Ayrton Senna at McLaren.
"I had no other choice," he said about his own departure. "Perez needs a team in which he can grow again. You need a teammate you can beat."
"Perez will not be able to do that next to Max Verstappen," Berger added. "He will only become weaker because the mistakes will increase."
Fascinatingly, when asked about Berger’s comments, Red Bull’s powerful consultant Dr Helmut Marko echoed the sentiment.
"You don’t want to hear an answer from me on that just before the Mexican GP," the 80-year-old told Osterreich newspaper.
"But Berger knows it well from his own experience. He drove in a team with Senna and had to learn that there was someone there who was faster and better."
Nonetheless, Marko said Red Bull is supporting Perez’s quest to hang onto second place in the drivers’ standings, even if he answered "No" as to whether Verstappen might help the Mexican in that quest.
"Checo just has to get the best out of it without looking at Verstappen," said the Austrian. "We’re trying to help him with that."
"You see, there is no criticism from the team, only support. Maybe it will work out."
But Marko said the forthcoming Austin-Mexico-Brazil triple header is bad timing for Perez.
"His home race doesn’t make it any easier for him," he said. "And then there is now a sprint race in the USA - exactly what he doesn’t need at the moment. He always needs some time to get up to speed."
Nonetheless, Marko insisted that his personal relationship with Perez is still good - despite the recent furore surrounding his ’South American’ comments.
"Very good," he said. "He supported me massively, as did Max, who strongly expressed his opinion to a few people."
"You mustn’t forget that I brought Perez into the team. But it’s simply the fate with Verstappen that he is suffering now. It was already the case with (Pierre) Gasly."
"That’s why Gerhard’s statement is the right one - Perez needs an atmosphere and a team change. Let’s see how the next two races go, but the team and he are aware that it is a crisis."
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