Sergio Perez told about risk of Red Bull ‘binning’ him in 2023

Sergio Perez hasn't won a race since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix back in April, as he has struggled at Red Bull.

Sergio Perez had a weekend to forget at the Japanese Grand Prix, in what was one of his worst performances of 2023.

As Red Bull team principal Christian Horner put it, Perez had a “shocker” at Suzuka, where he retired twice from the race under bizarre circumstances.

Starting from fifth, Perez made contact with Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton on the run down to the opening corner – Sainz caused the initial collision – breaking his front wing endplate as a result.

He was forced to pit immediately for new repairs, something which didn’t cost him too much time due to a Safety Car.

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However, Perez was slapped with a five-second time penalty for overtaking Fernando Alonso on his way into the pits, something which under the neutralised conditions isn’t allowed.

A few laps later, and the 33-year-old was back in the pits for another front wing, after going straight into the side of Kevin Magnussen.

Perez attempted a ridiculously late divebomb which was never really on, with Magnussen having been spun round as a result.

Unsurprisingly, he received a second five-second time penalty for the incident.

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He served one of the penalties at his second pit-stop, leaving just the second one to serve.

It soon appeared that this would carry over to Qatar next month though, as Red Bull called Perez into the pits to retire the car.

Bizarrely, he was entered back into the race several laps later, so that he could serve his second penalty before pitting to retire once again.

It was an odd sight to behold, although the FIA did grant permission for Red Bull to get Perez back into the race to serve his penalty.

As a result of his retirement, it was once again down to reigning World Champion Max Verstappen to win the team the Constructors’ Championship, something he did with ease following his 13th victory of the year.

Verstappen was superior over Perez once again all weekend, raising further questions about the Mexican’s future with the team.

Perez does have a contract for 2024 which will be honoured by the Austrians, with F1 journalist Scott Mitchell-Malm insisting that the Red Bull driver is “locked in” for next season.

However, a member of The Race Members’ Club (Mark Reilly) raised the point that if he performs inconsistently again next campaign, then Perez “could cost” the Milton Keynes-based side in the championship, especially if McLaren are even stronger.

“That final point from Mark is absolutely spot on – it’s the risk that Perez could cost them in a championship battle that would be so concerning for Red Bull,” Mitchell-Malm said, as per The Race.

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“As it is for 2024, I think he’s set, locked in, and as we know after this weekend, AlphaTauri will have Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda driving for them next year. Red Bull has initially named Liam Lawson as its reserve driver.

“It would be extremely surprising if something happens in the final six races for Red Bull to bin off Perez and name Lawson or anybody else alongside Verstappen for 2024.

“There’s no reason to believe Perez won’t be alongside Verstappen at the start of next year.”