Red Bull chief clarifies Sergio Perez stance after Helmut Marko’s warning

Despite Helmut Marko’s recent condemnation of Sergio Perez, the Mexican remains a Red Bull driver for now.

Red Bull’s Chief Engineer Paul Monaghan has emphatically reiterated the team’s unwavering commitment to Sergio Perez, despite recent concerns raised over his 2024 seat by Red Bull’s Motorsport Advisor, Helmut Marko. 

Perez commenced the current racing season on a high note, securing victory in two out of the initial four rounds and posing a formidable challenge to his teammate, Max Verstappen.

However, the momentum encountered a setback with a qualifying crash in Monaco, followed by a string of five Q3 session misses. 

Despite these struggles, Perez demonstrated resilience and managed to clinch podium finishes in both the Hungarian and Belgian races, rekindling hope and reaffirming his capabilities just ahead of the summer hiatus.

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As the championship progressed, the gap between Perez and Verstappen widened, with the latter establishing a substantial lead of 125 points. 

The mounting difference sparked speculation regarding Perez’s future within the team. 

Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s key advisor, addressed the situation with caution during the Dutch Grand Prix, stating that “nothing is 100 per cent certain in F1.” 

Marko’s words alluded to the possibility of Perez’s seat for the upcoming 2024 season being in jeopardy.

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Despite these uncertainties, both Perez and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner remained steadfast in their assertion that Perez held a valid contract for the next season. 

The affirmations from Perez and Horner were echoed by Paul Monaghan, who spoke to the media about the team’s approach to supporting the driver. 

Monaghan’s perspective shed light on the dynamic nature of driver confidence, noting that it naturally fluctuates over time.

Monaghan pointed out the cyclical nature of driver performance within teams, exemplified by instances where confidence alternates between teammates. 

READ: Christian Horner admits Red Bull ready to fire Sergio Perez

He highlighted Perez’s notable achievements, such as his victory in Azerbaijan and pole position in Miami, which contributed to building confidence not only for himself but also for Max Verstappen during the race.

Drawing attention to Perez’s unyielding spirit, Monaghan emphasized that the driver never succumbs to despondency after a race. 

With the Red Bill family famously quick to sack underperforming drivers, Perez will be keen to show over the next few races that he belongs at the title-winning team.