Sergio Perez’s father is convinced that his son was signed by Red Bull to finish “second place”, rather than compete with reigning World Champion Max Verstappen.
Perez’s father made the comments following last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, where the 33-year-old endured a “shocker”.
The Red Bull driver retired twice from the race and was slapped with two five-second time penalties, in what was an event to forget.
He appeared to lack confidence at Suzuka and was unable to bounce back from Red Bull’s Singapore woes, something Verstappen did to complete perfection.
The Dutchman claimed a comfortable win to secure the team the Constructors’ Championship, something Perez watched unfold from the garage.
Perez’s woes have convinced ex-F1 driver Ralf Schumacher that he’ll definitely be replaced for 2024, as he’s driving “so much slower” than his team-mate and is making “stupid mistakes”.
“Everyone around him is working their behind off, giving him a great car and he drives so much slower than Verstappen and makes these stupid mistakes,” said Schumacher, as reported by Grandpx.news.
“In my opinion he won’t be driving at Red Bull next year.”
Just at Suzuka alone, Perez overtook Fernando Alonso whilst behind the Safety Car and crashed into Kevin Magnussen, following a woeful attempt at an overtake.
He is contracted to Red Bull next season, although an extension for 2025 looks very distant currently.
Perez does still remain in P2 in the Drivers’ Championship, although Lewis Hamilton is catching him quickly.
Interestingly, Perez’s father thinks his son was signed to finish in second rather than first, with him also accusing Red Bull of designing the car to suit Verstappen rather than Checo.
“The car is made for Max because he drives with all the grip at the front and Checo has always driven with the grip at the rear,” Perez’s father explained to Mexican outlet ESTO.
“The position Checo is in is the one he was hired for – second place. There is only one champion and you have to understand that. He has to work for it and respect it.
“All this was built for Max to be champion. But if he (Perez) moved to another team, he would be fourth or sixth.”