Red Bull warned Perez’s form could be an ‘outlier’ as team orders becoming ‘uncomfortable’

Sergio Perez's first win of the season in Monaco was also his fourth podium in 2022.

Former Formula 1 driver Jolyon Palmer suggests that Red Bull will have to give it more thought before asking Sergio Perez to move over for Max Verstappen given the Mexican’s current form.

Perez out-qualified Verstappen for the second time this season in Monaco as he went on to beat Carlos Sainz to victory after Charles Leclerc dropped from first to fourth due to a woeful strategy from Ferrari.

The 32-year-old’s victory came a week after he was asked to let the reigning champion through in Barcelona while he was leading, although a move for the lead from Verstappen was inevitable given the freshness of his tyres.

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It was a splendid performance from Perez in Monte Carlo that now leaves him 15 points behind the Dutchman in the Drivers’ Championship, and former F1 driver and Le Mans winner Allan McNish commented that the result will be giving team principal Christian Horner a “positive headache” with both his drivers running out front.

While Palmer agrees that it will no longer be easy to place Perez into a strictly support role for his team-mate, he does not believe that the three-time race winner can sustain a title challenge.

“To be honest, I don’t see Perez mounting a championship campaign,” he told BBC Sport’s Chequered Flag Podcast.

“He’s had a much better year, and I think that in itself is going to make the team orders thing less obvious to Red Bull.

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“I know they did it in Barcelona, but there was the split strategies and that was what they pinned it on or blamed it on.

“But in a normal race, I think it’s just uncomfortable for them to do team orders, particularly when Perez gets a win.

“He’s doing a good job. And he was genuinely quicker – Monaco is the outlier of the season though, and it doesn’t necessarily guarantee you pace in other places. 

“We’ve seen that in the past so it’s a bit of a specialist track.

“It’s just great that he’s another winner this year. And, and he’s not far off the championship lead.”

Perez has been rewarded with a new contract that keeps him at Red Bull until at least the end of 2024, while Verstappen has a deal that sees him stay with the Milton Keynes-based side until the end of 2028.