Ex-Formula 1 driver Gerhard Berger has advised Sergio Perez to leave Red Bull, with the Austrian believing that Checo will “never” consistently beat Max Verstappen.
Perez’s future has been a huge talking point recently, despite the fact he has a contract with Red Bull for 2024.
Team principal Christian Horner has insisted that the Milton Keynes-based team will respect the Mexican’s deal for next season, but advisor Dr Helmut Marko had admitted that nothing is “certain”.
Perez has been a solid number two driver at Red Bull but has never consistently taken the fight to Verstappen, who is in a complete league of his own.
Just 4 of Red Bull’s wins since the start of the new aerodynamic era last season have come courtesy of Perez, whilst 26 have come thanks to Verstappen.
In Perez’s defence, Verstappen is in a complete league of his own, with Berger recognising that even if Perez was a “real rival” for the Dutchman, the reigning World Champion would still reign superior.
“If there was a real rival for Max, the gap he has might be a little smaller. But it’s still Max and the car making the difference,” Berger told Speed Week.
“Verstappen is simply in a class of its own. The lead is so glaring that others only come closer on a day when they themselves get a bullseye on the setup and Red Bull is not ideally positioned for once.
“But even then, Max is still pulling it out of the bag.”
Perez’s seat has been linked to the likes of Daniel Ricciardo and Liam Lawson, whilst Lando Norris could be an option from 2026 onwards.
There are genuine beliefs that Perez won’t be at Red Bull next season, something Berger seemingly thinks the 33-year-old should push for.
Berger is adamant that Checo doesn’t have a “mental problem” which is resulting in recent mistakes, but he does think the Mexican should leave Red Bull to show how good he really is.
“With Perez it’s not a mental problem or anything like that. He’s a normal driver, a good driver, with a teammate who is an exceptional talent,” Berger said.
“If Sergio is intelligent, he will find himself another team where he can break the deadlock and show his performance there. But he will never be able to consistently beat Max.”