Dr Helmut Marko, the top advisor at Red Bull, has put an end to speculation surrounding Sergio Perez’s future at the team.
Rumours have circulated that Max Verstappen’s former teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, was being considered for Perez’s role. However, Marko has categorically denied these claims.
“It’s all nonsense,” Marko told Sport1. “Sergio’s place has never been in jeopardy and will never be in jeopardy.”
Earlier in the season, Perez showcased strong performances, preventing Verstappen from easily securing his third consecutive drivers’ title in 2023.
However, setbacks in Miami and Monaco led to criticism of Perez’s form. Marko acknowledged Perez’s underwhelming performances and reminded him to focus on his job.
“He didn’t take advantage of the potential he had, but in Max, he has an opponent who is difficult to beat,” Marko explained. “Any driver would face the same challenge.”
Despite the criticism, Marko emphasizsd that Perez remains an integral part of Red Bull’s goals for the year. The team aims to finish first and second in the drivers’ championship and reclaim the constructors’ world championship.
“We want to become constructors’ world champion again as quickly as possible, and Sergio is an important element in achieving these goals,” Marko stated.
Some believe that Red Bull is positioning Perez to accept the perception of being a de-facto ‘number 2’ driver alongside Verstappen. However, Marko advised Perez to concentrate on his own performance rather than desperately trying to beat his teammate.
“He should be there when things aren’t going optimally for Max,” Marko advised. “Sergio’s strong race after the failed qualifying session in Barcelona was a step in the right direction.”
With Perez regaining form, Red Bull now sets its sights on a remarkable feat—winning every single grand prix this season, an unprecedented achievement in Formula 1 history. Marko expressed confidence in the team’s performance but acknowledged the unpredictability of luck and the remaining 15 races.
“In terms of sheer performance, we’re capable of that,” Marko said. “But there is also bad luck. With 15 races still to go, something can happen very quickly. It could happen in Montreal. The probability of realizing this dream increases if both drivers are capable of winning.”