Red Bull are reportedly not afraid of sacking Sergio Perez mid-season in 2024, and replacing him with AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo.
It’s been by Formula 1 reported Lawrence Barretto that Red Bull are open to firing Perez before the end of next season, should he not perform to the team’s standards.
Despite an underwhelming 2023 campaign, the Milton Keynes-based team are set to respect Perez’s contract with them, which expires at the end of 2024.
Whilst Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has made contrasting comments regarding Perez’s future, team principal Christian Horner has insisted that the 33-year-old will be kept.
However, should Perez perform at a similar standard in 2024, then he likely won’t keep his seat for the entire season.
Ricciardo is reportedly in Red Bull’s plan to make a famous return to the team, having last raced for them in 2018 before switching to Renault.
The Australian is Red Bull’s preferred option should they decide to drop Perez before his contract concludes, with an extension looking extremely unlikely to be offered.
If this does happen before the end of 2024, then it’d leave a seat to be filled at AlphaTauri, given that it was confirmed at the Japanese Grand Prix that Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda would race for the Faenza-based team next year.
Red Bull reserve driver Liam Lawson would take Ricciardo’s seat if he’s promoted back to Red Bull to replace Perez, something which would see the Kiwi’s time on the bench come to a complete end.
A loan move to Williams is sadly looking very unlikely for Lawson, as the Grove-based team are rumoured to be set on offering Logan Sargeant another season to settle into the sport.
It means another campaign as Red Bull’s reserve is on the cards for Lawson, presumably alongside competing in another championship.
Red Bull appear to be very keen on not losing Lawson, who has performed remarkably well since replacing the injured Ricciardo.
With all of this in mind, there is a lot riding on Perez’s 2024 performance, not only for his future but also for the future’s of Ricciardo and Lawson.