Sergio Perez to be sacked after Red Bull meet with Lando Norris’ agent

A photo capturing Lando Norris' agent Mark Berryman in discussion with Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko has sparked speculation about a potential move for the McLaren driver.

The F1 rumour mill has been sent into overdrive with the emergence of a photograph showing Lando Norris’ agent Mark Berryman engaged in deep conversation with Dr Helmut Marko during the British Grand Prix. 

This comes amid months of speculation linking Norris to a switch to Red Bull to become Max Verstappen’s team-mate.

While such meetings are not uncommon in the F1 paddock, the presence of Norris’ agent in discussions with Red Bull has raised eyebrows due to the divergent career paths of Norris and struggling Red Bull veteran Sergio Perez.

Perez’s 2023 season has been fraught with disappointing performances, trailing his teammate Max Verstappen in the championship by 99 points and failing to reach Q3 in five races. 

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At Silverstone, he qualified a lowly 15th and could only manage a sixth-place finish. 

Despite being under contract for another year, speculations have arisen that Red Bull might consider replacing Perez ahead of schedule due to his lacklustre results.

The timing of the meeting is also intriguing, as the F1 silly season traditionally kicks off after the midsummer break, which is only three weeks away. 

Red Bull’s third driver, Daniel Ricciardo, has been linked to Perez’s seat, seeking a return to F1 after his early departure from McLaren at the end of last season.

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Helmut Marko has previously expressed admiration for Lando Norris, stating that he rates the British driver as highly as Verstappen and Charles Leclerc. 

“The only talented driver I still see in this league is Lando Norris, but he doesn’t have the best machinery at the moment,” Marko remarked last year.

Despite Marko publicly backing Perez and stating that his position is “not in danger at all,” the meeting between Marko and Berryman is expected to intensify pressure on Perez due to the speculation it will generate.

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Securing Norris’ services would be a challenging task, as he is contracted with McLaren until the end of 2025. 

Additionally, Norris, a highly talented 23-year-old, would command a significant price tag given his impressive performances. 

He recently finished fourth in Austria and achieved a stunning second-place finish at Silverstone, showcasing his abilities in a McLaren that has struggled in the 2023 season.