Helmut Marko says Sergio Perez ‘needs’ to leave Red Bull

Sergio Perez sits just 30 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the fight for second in the Drivers' Championship.

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has admitted that a “change of climate and team” could be what’s best for Sergio Perez to rediscover his pace, with him currently struggling for confidence.

Nothing is going right for the Mexican driver currently, who has scored just a single point in the last three races.

Even if he hadn’t been taken out in the Qatar Grand Prix sprint race last weekend, the 33-year-old wasn’t looking likely to score big points.

Red Bull and Marko have recognised that the driver is “suffering”, something Marko thinks is happening because Max Verstappen is so superior.

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Perez’s current performances are very similar to Pierre Gasly’s before he was dropped, with the Red Bull advisor noting that the team recognise Checo is “in a crisis”, something which might only be solved by leaving the Austrians.

“[It’s] Very good, I brought Perez into the team,” Marko told OE24, in regard to his relationship with the driver.

“But it’s simply the fate with Verstappen that he’s suffering now.

“That was also the case with Gasly [in 2019]. From that point of view, Perez needs a change of climate and team. We’ll see how the next two races go. But the team and he are aware that he’s in a crisis.”

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Despite his comments, Marko isn’t prepared to say whether Checo should leave Red Bull or perhaps even be sacked, especially with the Mexican Grand Prix coming up soon.

“You don’t want to hear an answer from me on that just before the Mexican Grand Prix,” Marko said.

Even though both titles are already sealed, Perez’s current struggles are impacting Red Bull’s chances of claiming first and second in the Drivers’ Championship, something they’ve never achieved.

Given how good the RB19 is, they should finish in first and second; however, Perez’s woes are allowing Lewis Hamilton to close in.

The seven-time World Champion reduced his deficit to just 30 points in Qatar, despite the fact he crashed out of the race, something Marko clearly views as a bit of a miracle.

Marko has insisted that the “fear” of not claiming a 1-2 is now “very real”, especially with the next round in the United States being a sprint weekend, something Perez struggles with.

“This fear [of losing second] is actually very real,” Marko continued. “If not for the crash [in the Qatar GP Sprint Race], Hamilton would still have made up 10 or 15 points.

READ: Lance Stroll offers solution to Qatar GP trouble

“Checo just has to do the best he can without looking at Verstappen. We try to help him with that. As you can see, there is no criticism from the team, only help. Maybe it will work.

“[Being adored in Mexico] doesn’t make it any easier for him. In addition, there is now a sprint race in the USA, which is exactly what he doesn’t need at the moment.

“It makes it even more difficult for him because he always needs time to get up to speed. I hope that Austin will be reasonably good, then things work out again in Mexico.”