Sergio Perez faces ‘critical’ test

Sergio Perez has been warned that the next few races are critical if he’s to save his Red Bull Racing career.

Martin Brundle has sounded a warning for Sergio Perez, emphasising the need for the Mexican driver to improve his performances in the final five races of the 2023 season to secure his future with Red Bull. 

Recent times have been less than favourable for Perez, with mounting pressure casting uncertainty over his Formula 1 career.

While Perez initiated the season with two victories in the first four races, a string of underwhelming results compared to his record-breaking teammate Max Verstappen has raised questions about the 33-year-old’s tenure at Red Bull. 

Perez has publicly stated his intention to remain with the team in 2024, but potential contenders for his seat, including the returning Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri standout Yuki Tsunoda, and the impressive Liam Lawson, have added to the speculation.

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In light of Perez’s lacklustre performance in a car as dominant as the RB19, his position at Red Bull appears to be in jeopardy. 

Former F1 driver and Sky Sports veteran pundit Martin Brundle stressed the “critical” nature of the upcoming races for Perez to retain his seat. 

Brundle noted, “Red Bull can’t take a passenger into 2024 if he is not on form.”

Brundle further highlighted the importance of these races for Perez’s mental state and Red Bull’s confidence in his abilities. 

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He stated, “So, these next few races are critical for his head and for Red Bull to be satisfied that he’s just not lost his way and he can do this.”

While Perez’s bid for the championship title encountered early setbacks, he remains in contention for a unique achievement for Red Bull. 

The constructor has never finished a season with its drivers occupying the first and second positions in the standings. 

Perez currently maintains a 30-point lead over Lewis Hamilton in the fight for second place, making it a realistic prospect for Red Bull.

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Brundle recognised that, although Perez has not matched Verstappen, the team’s expectation has always been for him to secure second place. 

“Sergio Perez and Red Bull want exactly the same thing,” Brundle emphasised. 

“They want him to re-find his form and, if he can’t beat Max, at least deliver some second places and secure second in the world championship.”