Perez ’not exempt’ from contract clauses - Marko

"He’s scored 10 points in the last five races or something"


7 July 2024 - 12:06
Perez 'not exempt' from (…)

"Tremendous pressure" is mounting on Sergio Perez to immediately up his game, as rumours gain strength that Red Bull could terminate his newly-signed 2025 contract.

Just when he needed to end a post-contract slump, the Mexican driver spun out of a slippery Q1 at Silverstone.

"He spins off like an amateur," former Red Bull driver Robert Doornbos told Ziggo Sport.

The major error came amid swirling new rumours that Daniel Ricciardo could soon replace Perez. And not just that, it now emerges that Red Bull reserve Liam Lawson will do a ’filming day’ in Perez’s car next week at Silverstone.

"Lawson is in that car next week on this same circuit," Doornbos added. "You have to feel Checo’s pain at the moment."

When asked about Perez’s qualifying error, Red Bull F1 consultant Dr Helmut Marko said: "You can use the excuse that he was the first on the slick tyres. The car is unpredictable.

"But it certainly doesn’t help him get out of the crisis."

Doornbos thinks Red Bull was put under pressure to re-sign Perez to appease Max Verstappen and his father Jos, but former F1 driver Christijan Albers thinks it was an "absolutely insane" move.

"You don’t sign someone at the worst moment of their career for a reason like that," Albers said. "I think he’s out of excuses.

"Everyone falls off the track now and then - even Max. But the laptimes have to be there. And they are not."

DAZN commentator Antonio Lobato says he has heard rumours that Silverstone was one of just a few races that is part of an "ultimatum" for Perez to improve.

"He’s scored 10 points in the last five races or something," he said. "They can see the constructors’ championship slipping away and need to take a decision, especially if the trend doesn’t change.

"Perez is under tremendous pressure now. Ricciardo could have a chance if Checo does not deliver in the next three grands prix," Lobato added.

Marko admits that Perez is currently not fulfilling his role at Red Bull Racing.

"All the bonuses that are paid to the employees depend on the placing in the constructors’ championship," he told DPA news agency. "Checo is under pressure. You can see that in all his gestures at the moment.

"Since he got the new contract, there have been a few not-so-good races," Marko added. "Of course it’s designed for performance and no one is exempt from that."

When asked about rumours that he could replace Perez, Ricciardo insisted that he never tries to make "predictions" when it comes to Red Bull and Formula 1.

Former F1 driver Giedo van der Garde thinks Ricciardo would have, at least, not spun at the wheel of Perez’s Red Bull on Saturday.

"Ricciardo almost did the same thing, he knows it’s slippery, and drove straight on," he told Viaplay. "I mean, it’s your out-lap on slicks on a damp track - it simply shouldn’t happen to an experienced driver."

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