Red Bull urged to sack Sergio Perez and sign 23-year-old British star

Sergio Perez’s contract at Red Bull runs until the end of 2024, with the Mexican being rewarded with a new deal earlier this year for his strong performances.

The driver situation at Red Bull is currently a complex one, after tensions between Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez boiled over in Brazil, when the Dutchman refused to follow team orders that would have benefitted his teammate in his hunt for P2 in the drivers’ championship.

The Mexican picked up impressive wins in Monaco and Singapore in 2022, and signed a new deal to keep him with the energy drink giants until the end of 2024 earlier this year as a reward for him improved performances.

A potential breakdown in relationship with Max Verstappen combined with Daniel Ricciardo’s return to Red Bull might see Perez sweat over the security of his long-term future with Red Bull, but the Sky Sports panel have identified a different driver that they believe should replace the 32-year-old.

“I think they should be going hard to try and buy Lando Norris,” suggested Karun Chandhok on the 2022 season review programme.

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“Absolutely, spot on. He’s got a contract at McLaren until the end of 2025, I wonder if he thinks that’s too long,” replied show host Simon Lazenby, clearly in agreement with his colleague about Red Bull’s best option.

It was McLaren that gave Norris his chance in Formula 1, signing the young Brit as Carlos Sainz’s partner for the 2019 season, and the 23-year-old has repaid the team’s faith in him with a number of podium finishes in his first four years in the sport.

While he has admitted that he has previously spoken to Red Bull about a potential move, Norris has explained that McLaren’s honestly and faith in their project is what enticed him to sign a long-term extension with the team from Woking.

Sky Sports pundit Natalie Pinkham has defended the Brit’s decision to remain with McLaren, reminding the rest of the punditry panel of the fates of Max Verstappen’s previous partners.

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“The problem is doing that [appointing Norris], as we have seen with [Pierre] Gasly and [Alex] Albon, it’s like lambs to the slaughter,” she explained.

“It’s very difficult to be Max Verstappen’s teammate. If you bring a rookie in too soon, it could crush their careers.”

Norris has admitted the McLaren’s start to the new era of Formula 1 was not good enough, dropping one place from the year prior to fifth place in the championship, leaving the team to fret about how long the Brit will keep faith in the team before accepting an offer from one of the giants of the sport.