After a very early end for Sergio Perez in his home Formula 1 race, his days at Red Bull could be numbered, given his continued woeful performances.
Sergio Perez opened up the 2023 Formula 1 season looking like a world championship contender. However, his performance has only gotten worse as the season has gone on, leading to the suggestion that he has not done enough to warrant a stay as Max Verstappen’s teammate at Red Bull.
The Mexican driver is under contract with the team until the end of 2024, as he announced a two-year extension after winning the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix. But the chance that Perez gets replaced before his contract ends continues to grow, especially considering Red Bull’s history with underperforming drivers.
There are a number of factors which could contribute to the potential dismissal of the 33-year-old driver before his contract is up.
The disparity in results between Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez has only gotten wider throughout the 2023 Formula 1 season.
After the season started with Perez and Verstappen each winning two races, Verstappen has won 14 of 15, with Perez failing to win during that stretch and securing only three runner-up finishes. The Dutchman is consistently winning races by a wide margin, with Perez more often off the podium than on it.
Additionally, Perez’s early season successes put him comfortably in P2 in the driver standings. However, his woes have allowed Lewis Hamilton to close the gap with three races remaining on the schedule, giving him a chance to knock Perez down to P3 and prevent Red Bull from securing their first ever 1-2 finish in the standings.
Perez, whose point total is now less than half of Verstappen’s, missing out on P2 after his start to the season and the strength of the RB19 would definitely be a bad look, one which could be a major factor to those at Red Bull determining his future.
Red Bull’s other drivers have done quite well for AlphaTauri this year, with Liam Lawson and Daniel Ricciardo putting in very good performances in one of the slowest cars on the grid. The team that looked poised to finish last in the constructor standings now have a legitimate shot at P8.
Those two drivers outperforming the expectations of the AT04 in conjunction with Perez underperforming in the RB19 is something to keep an eye on going into the winter break.
Finally, Perez’s embarrassing result in his home race was rather shocking. Many expected the struggling Mexican to be rejuvenated and in the conversation for a podium finish in front of his home fans.
His rough weekend began with him qualifying one spot below Ricciardo, who is said to be aiming for that second Red Bull seat. Things got even worse on the opening lap, when Perez was forced to retire after a crash with Charles Leclerc in the first turn. Additionally, Ricciardo scored a P7 finish, the best of the year for AlphaTauri.
Perez’s shockingly poor performance down the stretch this season could result in him being out of his seat before his contract ends. If things get even worse with a drop to P3, the executives of Red Bull will really be wondering what is best for the team going forward. While Perez remains under contract for the time being, only time will tell who Verstappen’s teammate will be for the 2024 season.