Helmut Marko suggests Red Bull are preparing to fire Sergio Perez

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has suggested Sergio Perez's tenure may be shorter than expected, with Daniel Ricciardo waiting in the wings.

Helmut Marko, the influential advisor at Red Bull Racing, has expressed further doubts about Sergio Perez’s future at the team following the Mexican driver’s disappointing performances in the past three races. 

Marko, known for his low tolerance of underwhelming results from Red Bull drivers, has hinted that Perez’s original plan was to stay with the team for a duration of “two or three years” when he joined in 2021.

Replacing Alex Albon for the 2021 season, Perez took on the challenge of driving alongside Max Verstappen. 

However, Marko’s recent comments suggest that Red Bull is considering alternative options for Perez’s seat. 

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In an interview, Marko stated: “His initial goal was to stay for two or three years, that would be more than he planned, so we just have to keep the options open to decide who will be his successor.”

Interestingly, Marko hinted at the possibility of Daniel Ricciardo returning to Red Bull. 

Ricciardo previously spent four years with the team from 2014 to 2018, during which he partnered with Verstappen for two seasons. 

Following his departure, Ricciardo encountered a series of unfortunate events and had his contract with McLaren terminated prematurely. 

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He then rejoined Red Bull as a reserve driver for the 2023 season. 

Speculation has since arisen about a potential comeback to the Red Bull seat for Ricciardo.

The fan favourite, eager to secure a full-time return to the grid next year, has piqued the interest of Red Bull. 

Marko alluded to assessing Ricciardo’s performance and determining “where he is really at” during upcoming Pirelli tire tests at Silverstone. 

Ricciardo will have the opportunity to drive the car for three days as part of the testing session.

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“We will have Daniel Ricciardo in the car for three days after Silverstone at the Pirelli tyre tests, there we will assess his level and where he is really at,” Marko said.

While no official decisions have been made, Marko’s comments suggest that Red Bull is considering various options to optimize the team’s performance. 

With Perez’s future uncertain, the potential return of Ricciardo to the Red Bull fold adds an intriguing element to the Formula 1 driver market.