Is Charles Leclerc the obvious candidate to replace Sergio Perez?

Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez are both in need of new contracts for 2025.

Sergio Perez is currently a driver being heavily discussed ahead of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, as a result of his recent downward spiral.

It’s truly astonishing just how quickly Perez’s season has changed, given that it was only a few races ago that he was regarded as a real title rival for Max Verstappen.

The situation now couldn’t be any more different, with Perez having failed to finish on the podium at the last three races.

Perez has failed to claim a rostrum since Miami and hasn’t made it into Q3 since then as well, something Verstappen has made the most of.

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Verstappen has claimed three pole positions in a row and four consecutive victories, putting him a commanding 69 points ahead of Perez going into the team’s home race this weekend.

To add to Perez’s woes, his P2 in the Drivers’ Championship is under considerable threat, as Fernando Alonso heads to the Red Bull Ring just nine points behind.

Perez simply needs to find some form fast, with it likely not going to be accepted for the 33-year-old to finish any lower in the standings than second, given that he has by far the best car on the grid.

Whilst the pressure of being a title contender might have been overwhelming, it almost appears like the pressure of being in the best car has also gotten the better of him.

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He needs a strong run of races before the summer break, especially if he wants a new Red Bull contract.

Checo does have a deal until the end of 2024 which advisor Dr Helmut Marko has stressed will be honoured; however, based on his current form, Red Bull might already be discussing their 2025 line-up behind-the-scenes.

This is because so many drivers on the grid are in need of a new contract for 2025, including Charles Leclerc.

Leclerc’s current Ferrari deal expires at the end of next season, with their being no guarantee yet if he’ll sign an extension.

Should the Italians address their current issues then there is no reason why the Monegasque would want to leave; however, if nothing changes then perhaps, he could be convinced to move elsewhere.

With Red Bull only having one potential option in their junior set-up for 2025, a bid for Leclerc would make perfect sense, given that it’d set the team up for beyond 2028 should Verstappen retire.

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Whilst it would perhaps see two of their drivers fight for the title, the Austrians would comfortably boast the best line-up.

The only other option to replace Perez in 2025 appears to be Yuki Tsunoda, but he arguably needs to carry his current form into 2024 first to prove that he can perform consistently.

Should that happen, then Tsunoda would presumably be Red Bull’s first choice; however, Leclerc would be an excellent back-up.