Lewis Hamilton won’t end Sergio Perez’s career

Sergio Perez could seal second in the Drivers' Championship at the upcoming Las Vegas GP.

Ex-Formula 1 driver turned pundit Martin Brundle revealed last weekend during the Brazilian Grand Prix that Sergio Perez’s future at Red Bull doesn’t depend on him finishing second in the Drivers’ Championship, something which had been speculated.

Ahead of the recent round in Sao Paulo, it was rumoured that Perez would be replaced by Daniel Ricciardo for 2024 if he failed to beat Lewis Hamilton to second in the standings.

This ultimatum is supposedly false, with Red Bull instead set to retain Perez and honour his contract for 2024 no matter where he finishes come the end of the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Team principal Christian Horner and advisor Dr Helmut Marko have both stressed this point, although they would love for the 33-year-old to claim second given that Red Bull have never secured a 1-2 in the Drivers’ Championship.

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Brundle has actually been told by sources that there is “no doubt” that Perez will continue with the Milton Keynes-based squad next season, with Red Bull not wanting to change their current driver line-up.

“I’ll stand by what I’ve said in the last couple of races,” Brundle said on Sky Sports F1. “I believe Red Bull absolutely want to keep running Perez next year and will do everything to make that happen.

“There is a contract in place, and they don’t want to change, for any number of reasons. That’s what they’re aiming at, at the moment.

“I have been categorically told – by people who know – that it’s not about finishing second in the championship. He certainly needs to have solid races or where is he at, in his own head, going forwards?

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“Right now, Perez has the Red Bull seat next year. No doubt about it.”

Even if an ultimatum was in place for Checo, it appears that he’s weathered the storm after a very positive Brazilian GP.

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Perez needs to endure the worst final two races of the season imaginable to not claim second in the standings, as he now has a 32-point advantage over Hamilton.

The Mexican driver seemed back to his usual self at Interlagos and narrowly missed out on the podium by 0.053s, following an excellent duel with Fernando Alonso.

As for Hamilton, the seven-time World Champion finished in a woeful eighth, giving Perez the upper hand in the fight for P2 ahead of Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi.