At this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix, Sergio Perez was seen talking to Dr Helmut Marko, the head of Red Bull’s driver development programme.
With Perez being strongly linked to a move to Red Bull and Alex Albon continuing to underperform, many F1 fans were quick to suggest that the pair were potentially discussing the Mexican’s future at the team.
However, Perez has since insisted that he was just saying “hello” to Dr Marko.
“I just said hello. We didn’t talk about anything else,” he said.
“As they have said, they will decide [who will partner Max Verstappen next year] in Abu Dhabi.”
Qualifying for the Sakhir Grand Prix was a mixed bag for Red Bull, with Max Verstappen putting in a lap good enough for third on the grid while Alex Albon was knocked out in Q2 and will start the race down in P12.
However, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner recently defended the Thai driver, saying he believes he is closer to Verstappen than Pierre Gasly was during his spell with the team last year.
“I think you’ve got to look at how Max has evolved over the last few years. If you look at his average to Max, Alex’s average is still closer than Pierre [Gasly’s] was last year.
“We know we’ve had some issues with the car that have made life particularly difficult, but we’re confident that situation will hopefully improve for him and for any driver.
“Max is a tall order to go up against – he’s arguably the most in-form driver currently in Formula 1 and I think it would be tough for any driver to go up against Max currently,” Horner added.