Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has insisted that the Austrians do want to respect Sergio Perez’s contract until the end of 2024 but has insisted that whether that happens or not is “entirely” down to the Mexican’s performances.
Perez endured yet another miserable weekend at the Qatar Grand Prix, where he was eliminated in Q2 once again.
His weekend got no better from then on, as he went onto crash out of the sprint race, before finishing P10 in the main race.
He would’ve finished higher than 10th had he not been slapped with two five-second time penalties for exceeding track limits, something which troubled several drivers during the race.
Given the car he has and the team he drives for, P10 simply isn’t good enough.
This has been recognised by team principal Christian Horner, who admitted that he must “talk” to Perez to understand what’s going wrong.
“I think we need to talk to him (Perez) to understand what happened,” Horner said after the race, as reported by Grandpx.news.
Perez was deeply frustrated with the track limit penalties and labelled them as a “joke”, give that the track was changed on Saturday.
The Red Bull driver did admit though that he “failed” the Austrians, with him being “very disappointed” in himself.
“To me, it all seems like a joke to come out and modify everything at the last minute like this,” Perez said in regard to the circuit being narrowed between Turns 12 and 13.
Perez added: “It has been a frustrating race. I am very disappointed for having failed my team. It was a poor weekend.”
Perez desperately needs to find some consistent form to save his Red Bull career, which looks set to be reaching its close.
Marko has insisted that the Mexican is too far behind Max Verstappen currently and shouldn’t be in a position where he could lose second in the Drivers’ Championship, something which could very well happen if Lewis Hamilton ends the season well.
“The gap is simply too big at the moment, because second place in the world championship is also at risk now,” Marko told ORF.
Marko hopes that Perez “will find his old strength again”, as that’ll be key to him remaining with Red Bull at least until his deal expires.
“In general we want to implement the contractual situation, which lasts until 2024. And that’s entirely up to him now,” Marko added.
“But then we have three relatively good drivers in Alpha Tauri,” Marko noted, referring to Yuki Tsunoda as well as Lawson and Ricciardo.
“Let’s see how this develops further. But we assume that Checo will find his old strength again.”