Red Bull told to sack Sergio Perez amid ‘rumours in the paddock’

Sergio Perez is contracted to Red Bull until the end of 2024.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher believes Red Bull should “part ways” with Sergio Perez should the Mexican and Max Verstappen have any further issues this season, with the pair having clashed off-track multiple times in the past few months.

Perez slashed Verstappen’s lead in the Drivers’ Championship to just six points on Sunday at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after the 33-year-old claimed his second victory of the season; however, there was an element of luck about it.

Verstappen had been leading the race but was told to pit when yellow flags were waved in the opening sector, due to Nyck de Vries having clipped the inside of Turn 5.

It was an odd call by Red Bull, given that a Safety Car wasn’t summoned until the reigning World Champion had left the pits, meaning Perez was able to pit at the end of the following lap and inherit the lead, with his stop having lost him considerably less time.

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However, once Perez was in the lead, Verstappen had no answer, similar to how the Dutchman couldn’t catch the Mexican in Saudi Arabia.

Perez is certainly in the title fight and has shown twice now this season that he can “be faster” than his mighty team-mate.

Schumacher remains concerned, though, that Checo makes “mistakes” when he’s “not too happy with the car”.

“Sergio Perez drove strongly in Azerbaijan,” Schumacher wrote in his Sky Germany column.

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“He also has the potential here and there to be faster than Max Verstappen. But with a view to the world championship fight, I don’t think he has the consistency of Verstappen.

“He sometimes makes a mistake under pressure when he’s not too happy with the car. Verstappen doesn’t make those mistakes and so I think he’ll be the better driver throughout the year.”

Despite Checo driving as well as he currently is, the Mexican’s future is supposedly being discussed in the paddock, with his deal with Red Bull set to expire at the end of 2024.

As things stand, Perez fully deserves a new deal; however, it could prove a risk for Red Bull should he clash with Verstappen anymore this season.

The duo clashed in Brazil last year and in Saudi Arabia this season, with many expecting the pair to lock horns again in the near future.

READ: Sergio Perez throws shade on Azerbaijan sprint

If Red Bull do decide that Perez’s current deal is his last with the Austrians, then they certainly have options, with the likes of development driver Daniel Ricciardo and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda being available.

“There are many rumours circulating in the paddock about Perez’s future. Red Bull would have options,” added Schumacher.

“There’s Yuki Tsunoda, Daniel Ricciardo is still there and there are enough drivers on the market too. If there is a troubled relationship between Verstappen and Perez then it would make sense to part ways with the Mexican.”