Ex-F1 drivers clash over Sergio Perez sacking

Former F1 drivers Gerhard Berger and Ralf Schumacher are at loggerheads regarding who will be teaming up Max Verstappen next season.

Former F1 race winners Gerhard Berger and Ralf Schumacher have publicly disagreed over whether Sergio Perez will retain his spot for the next F1 season.

Perez’s fall from grace has been well-documented this year, while Max Verstappen has continued to be imperious.

The Mexican won two of the opening four races, before nosediving in form following a crash during qualifying, at the Monaco Grand Prix.

This race marked the first of five consecutive weekends the Mexican failed to finish in the top ten in qualifying.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

However, Berger, an F1 veteran of 14 seasons, believes that Red Bull will respect Perez’s contract, which runs until the end of 2024.

Both Marko and Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, have asserted that this is the case.

Horner recently denied that Daniel Ricciardo had been brought back into the AlphaTauri fold to replace Perez in 2024.

The Australian driver’s return poured fuel onto the fire of speculations surrounding Perez.

Article continues below

Berger said: “Red Bull will respect the Perez contract despite all the rumours from outside. I am quite sure of that.”

Schumacher takes an opposing view and says that Perez will be replaced before his contract expires.

He has pointed to a few heated moments between Perez and Red Bull’s golden boy, Max Verstappen, over the past two seasons.

Schumacher remarked: “I think Perez will be replaced next year. 

“There are some drivers who are just as good as Sergio, but at the same time would create more harmony in the team.”

It has been noted by many experts that McLaren’s Lando Norris has a close friendship with Verstappen.

They think this helps the Brit’s candidacy for the position.

Schumacher is making an about-turn from comments he made only a couple of months ago.

Speaking in June, he said that he “strongly believes” Perez will retain his Red Bull spot in 2024.

READ: Toto Wolff’s concerning Mercedes comments as Lewis Hamilton talks drag on

However, he did explain this was due to Alex Albon and Daniel Ricciardo being either unavailable or out of action.

Now Ricciardo is getting back into the swing of life in F1, already outperforming his AlphaTauri predecessor Nyck de Vries.

Schumacher believes that Red Bull is priming him to replace Perez.