F1: Red Bull’s chief advisor Helmut Marko warns of uncertain future for Sergio Perez
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Helmut Marko has made some surprising comments when it comes to Sergio Perez’s future at Red Bull. The team’s chief advisor made u-turn comments about the driver’s seat with Red Bull next year, admitting nothing is “100 percent certain”.
The Mexican driver’s future within the team is hanging in the balance after some disappointing qualifying performances this season. Both Helmut Marko and the team’s principal and CEO Christian Horner have both vocalised their support of Perez and retaining him on the team next year despite the poor performances.
Sergio Perez, 33, is contracted with Red Bull until the end of 2024, with bosses previously confirming there were no plans to remove him from the team prematurely. Last month, Perez revealed there was a lack of trust with his team after reports began circling of a contract clause that saw him take a significant pay cut for falling 125 points behind Max Verstappen.
The drivers’ performances have continued to remain under intense scrutiny, especially going into the latter half of the season following summer break. Perez has fallen massively behind his dominant teammate Max Verstappen, with Helmut Marko saying there is now no guarantee that Perez will be driving for the team next year.
Marko told Austrian site Kleine Zeitung: “Nothing is 100 percent certain in Formula 1, it just doesn’t exist. There are always performance-related situations somewhere that need to be discussed. We’ll take a look and discuss how to proceed in Zandvoort, then we’ll know more.”
Red Bull’s chief advisor also revealed that he has met with AlphaTauri driver Daniel Ricciardo in Graz over the summer break. Ricciardo made his return to Formula 1 at the Hungarian Grand Prix after he was called in as a replacement for Nyck de Vries who was underperforming with the team.
AlphaTauri is the Red Bull junior team, with Daniel Ricciardo making it clear that he has plans to work back up into the lead team in the future. The Australian driver’s quick return to the sport has increased pressure on Perez to perform as he drops further back from his teammate in the Driver’s championship.
Marko said: “We saw each other, that’s clear when he comes to Graz. He has a very positive personality, a successful career and incredible experience. His momentum and vigour caused a real jolt at AlphaTauri. That was a real boost of motivation.”
Perez will now be under pressure to perform in the remaining ten races of the 2023 season and will be hoping to close the gap with his teammate.