Sergio Perez opens up on trust issues at Red Bull after Daniel Ricciardo returns

Sergio Perez's recent performance has led to questions over potential consequences for the Mexican’s contract with Red Bull.

Sergio Perez has candidly revealed concerns about trust issues within the team following his recent challenges on the racetrack. 

The current Formula 1 season began with promise for Perez, who clinched victories in two out of the first four races – triumphing in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan.

Initial hopes were high among fans that these early wins could spark a competitive World Championship title race, especially considering Max Verstappen’s back-to-back wins over the previous two years. 

However, Perez’s performance has since waned, and he finds himself slipping down the championship ranks, failing to make it to Q3 in five consecutive qualifying sessions.

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The turning point for Perez’s downturn occurred during the Monaco Grand Prix in late May, where a qualifying crash exposed the underside of his car to the rest of the grid. 

Nevertheless, he managed to salvage a second-place finish behind Verstappen in Belgium two weekends ago.

Presently, Perez faces a significant gap of 125 points behind his Dutch teammate, Max Verstappen, 25, leaving the battle for the World Championship looking increasingly one-sided. 

Intriguingly, it has come to light that Perez’s contract with Red Bull contains an unexpected clause that could potentially result in financial consequences .

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Dutch news outlet De Telegraaf has reported that Perez’s contract includes a stipulation requiring him to remain within 125 points of Verstappen at all times. 

This provision has led to speculation that if Perez falls short of this benchmark, Red Bull management holds the prerogative to make adjustments to his salary. 

Currently earning a base salary of nearly £8 million per year, Perez acknowledges the need for performance improvement.

Perez stated, “It’s in my hands, that’s why I am focused on myself – I am the first one. 

“I am a winner. I don’t like to have bad weekends. 

“It’s not what I am here for. I would rather be at home doing something else. 

“I’m here because I know that I can do it. 

“I’ve done it before and people just on the sofa forget how we have [little breathing space]. 

“I’ve had a rough patch, it’s true, but I also had a great start to the season.”

Speaking to the media, Perez acknowledged feeling caught off guard by recent changes made to the RB14 vehicles, stemming from the Monaco crash. 

He admitted that his confidence in the car has been compromised and attributed some of his struggles to external factors and varying track conditions.

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Perez explained, “Whenever there is a change of condition, it tends to get wider this ‘limit’. That has been something that has caught us out.” 

As speculation swirls about his future with Red Bull, the disparity between Perez and Verstappen’s performances has become more pronounced, fuelling rumours of a potential driver swap.

One prevailing theory suggests that Perez might be replaced by AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo, who recently joined the Red Bull junior team after Nyck de Vries was removed from the lineup.