Why Sergio Perez will be axed

Daniel Ricciardo is a rumoured contender to replace Sergio Perez for 2024, as the Australian returns from injury.

Despite having a contract for 2024 which Red Bull want to respect, Sergio Perez’s recent form has thrown his future into jeopardy, especially with the likes of McLaren becoming more competitive.

Back at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, when Perez claimed his second win of the opening four rounds, nobody thought his future would be as precarious as it is now.

Perez was sensational at the start of the season and was even labelled as Max Verstappen’s only title rival, something which quickly changed.

Being beaten by Verstappen at the Miami Grand Prix appears to have dented the Mexican’s confidence, given that he started on pole whilst his team-mate was down in ninth on the grid.

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Things quickly spiralled out of control for the 33-year-old, who crashed in Q1 at the Monaco Grand Prix.

A point-less race at the Circuit de Monaco allowed Verstappen to escape in the championship, with him having not looked back ever since.

Perez reportedly asked Red Bull to change his car back to an older version, before it’d been upgraded.

This request was denied by the Austrians who didn’t want to be taking two versions of the RB19 to each Grand Prix, something which would’ve likely caused issues with spare parts.

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With the exception of the Belgian Grand Prix and the Italian Grand Prix, Perez hasn’t shown the form he boasted at the start of 2023.

Progressing to Q3 has been a huge problem for Checo, as has scoring points in recent races.

Perez has scored just five points across the last three races, giving Lewis Hamilton an unexpected sniff of second in the Drivers’ Championship.

Hamilton beating Perez to second will likely be viewed as unacceptable by Red Bull, given how superior the RB19 is.

Verstappen’s dominance this season has arguably meant that Perez’s struggles haven’t impacted Red Bull as much; however, with McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes already working towards catching the outfit in 2024, decisions need to be made.

Perez doesn’t have the consistency to be a World Champion, something which isn’t a problem for Red Bull given that they have Verstappen.

What is a problem is whether the Mexican can support Verstappen and the team’s title pursuit, if against tougher opposition?

There are clearly doubts amongst the Red Bull hierarchy, with advisor Dr Helmut Marko and team principal Christian Horner having stressed that Perez must improve.

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They do have an option in the form of Daniel Ricciardo, who is returning to action this weekend at the United States Grand Prix.

If Ricciardo performs well in the remaining five races, then Red Bull would be left with a serious option to replace Perez, should his downward spiral continue.

Red Bull need two drivers at the top of their game for 2024, something they currently don’t have.