Red Bull admit they’re not happy about Lando Norris’ McLaren situation

Sergio Perez's future at Red Bull beyond 2023 is very much in doubt, with several replacements being considered.

Dr. Helmut Marko, a key advisor at Red Bull Racing, has expressed his regret over the fact that Lando Norris’ contractual commitment to McLaren has eliminated him from contention for a Red Bull seat, at least for the time being. 

The 23-year-old British driver has recently been a topic of conversation among Red Bull officials, including Christian Horner and close friend Max Verstappen.

The speculations about Norris aligning with Red Bull coincided with Sergio Perez’s performance struggles, especially when compared to his teammate Verstappen, who has been dominant in the 2023 Red Bull.

Dr. Marko, who is 80 years old, shared his perspective on Perez’s performance, stating, “Perez is not consistent. 

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“He is not always focused.” 

However, he acknowledged that Perez has a contract in place until 2024, and Norris is similarly bound by a contract with McLaren until 2025. 

This contractual situation has led Marko to remark, “Unfortunate that it’s for so long because he would be one of the candidates.”

Marko further revealed that Red Bull had previously considered bringing Norris on board when they had reached an agreement with him for Toro Rosso. 

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However, this plan was thwarted when Norris’s manager discovered an option within his contract with McLaren. 

Marko praised Norris’s qualities, stating that in terms of youth and speed, he would have been an excellent fit for the Red Bull team.

In contrast, Marko alluded to Perez’s age and personal commitments, remarking, “Sergio, on the other hand, is already over 30 and is having his fourth child. 

“He already has other interests, so we will have to see what happens afterward.”

While Marko’s comments may suggest a shift away from supporting Perez, he did acknowledge the challenges that come with partnering with Max Verstappen, who has consistently been a top performer for Red Bull.

“On the one hand,” said Marko, “the Red Bull seat is one of the most sought-after. 

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“But on the other hand, you also have Max Verstappen as an opponent. 

“You need a very strong personality and also incredible mental strength for that. 

“Perez is the one who has managed it the best of all the drivers in recent years and has also achieved victories.”