F1: Crisis period for Sergio Perez?

Sergio Perez of Red Bull Racing

Sergio Perez has been provisionally tipped as a title contender at the start of the 2023 championship, after taking two wins from four races. Unfortunately his difficulties in the race have become much discussed topics.

Sergio Perez‘ contract will expire at the end of the 2024 season, and recently the Red Bull team manager, Christian Horner, revealed how Daniel Ricciardo, returning from two races at the wheel of a single-seater, is aiming to replace the Mexican. Despite this, the Austrian team has repeated several times that despite the high performances, Sergio Perez will not risk his place and will therefore be able to complete the contract which expires in 2024. Seven of Ricciardo’s eight victories in Formula 1 have come with Red Bull and the AlphaTauri driver will be looking to return to success.

Some difficulties

Unfortunately for Perez, an encouraging start to the season turned into a disappointing and painful decline. The evolution of the RB19 is one of the major factors that explain his difficulties. The lack of feeling and confidence in the car is one of the main causes that explain his difficulties. Even though there was no exit from Q1 or Q2 at Zandvoort, the gap to Max Verstappen in qualifying was still more than a second. Red Bull’s strategic call gave Perez the race lead on lap 2, but the next seventy laps show the difference in pace between the two teammates.

An uncertain future

Christian Horner insists that Checo’s 2024 contract safeguards his place in the team, but the only certainty we have at Red Bull is the dominance of his teammate, Max Verstappen. What Checo is certainly looking for is a safe environment, in which he feels he can contribute and if this is not the case, he will have to look for alternatives. While the focus in the F1 space is often on Red Bull’s evaluation of Sergio Perez, the Mexican’s prospect should not be overlooked.

Clearly it is an environment full of pressure, and this is certainly not a positive thing at the moment, especially for Sergio Perez who is looking for some security and stability, and if these two elements were to be missing, Checo might not be willing to commit to long term.What we know is that the Mexican driver, 145 points behind teammate Max Verstappen, will have to at least confirm the competitiveness shown in Hungary and Belgium. Otherwise, the risk of losing your seat would be very high.

In short, currently the rumors are just rumors. Despite Christian Horner’s constant reassurances, the Mexican will have to watch his back from the Australian. The gap between him and Verstappen continues to widen inexorably in the standings. And perhaps not even the podiums could save him in the second part of the season.