Helmut Marko says Sergio Perez needs to leave Red Bull

Sergio Perez has failed to deliver so far this season, leaving Red Bull Racing frustrated at his inability to match Max Verstappen’s dominance.

Helmut Marko has implied that Sergio Perez’s future in Formula 1 might be with a different team, despite the Mexican driver having another year left on his contract with Red Bull. 

Marko’s recent comments echo his previous criticisms and come amid discussions about Perez’s future with the team.

Marko, who had previously faced backlash for making xenophobic remarks regarding Perez’s form before issuing an apology, emphasised the similarities between Perez’s situation and that of Pierre Gasly during their time at Red Bull. 

Marko expressed his belief that a change of environment and a different team could be the key to unlocking Perez’s potential.

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During a Q&A session with Austrian media outlet oe24, Marko initially stated his intention not to speak negatively about Perez ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix. 

However, he subsequently broke that commitment and hinted at the need for Perez to consider a new team. 

In his statements, Marko acknowledged the support received from both Perez and Max Verstappen.

“[Our relationship is] very good. He gave me massive support, as did Max [Verstappen], by the way, who shared his perspective with a few individuals. 

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“You must not forget: I brought Perez into the team back then. 

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

“This was already the case with Gasly. 

“From that point of view, Perez needs a change of environment and a different team. 

“Now, we’ll see how the next two races go. 

“But the team and he are aware that he is facing a crisis.”

While Max Verstappen’s outstanding performances have enabled Red Bull Racing to secure both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ titles, the team is keeping a close eye on the Drivers’ standings, with Perez currently holding a 30-point advantage over P3 Lewis Hamilton. 

When asked if this was a source of concern, Marko confirmed that their apprehensions were quite real.

“This fear is actually quite substantial. Without the crash [in Qatar], Hamilton would have made up 10 to 15 points again,” Marko explained. 

“Checo just has to give his best without comparing himself to Verstappen. 

“We are endeavouring to assist him in that endeavour. 

“It’s important to note that there is no criticism coming from the team; it’s all about providing support. 

“Hopefully, it will yield positive results.”

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Perez’s status as a national hero in Austin and Mexico has added to the pressure on him. 

Furthermore, the upcoming sprint race in the United States is considered a challenge he could do without at this moment, as Perez usually needs time to get up to speed. 

Marko expressed his hope that the Austin race would provide a halfway point towards a turnaround, ultimately leading to a more favourable outcome in Mexico.