Helmut Marko is pleased with Sergio Perez’s recent progress, outlining that his performances are where they should be.
Red Bull has enjoyed one of the most dominant campaigns in F1, but this hasn’t excluded the team from controversy. Much of the questions have surrounded their driver pairing for 2024, with Sergio Perez’s future often under scrutiny.
The 33-year-old’s difficulties this year have been discussed at length, both outside and within the Red Bull camp. Although Helmut Marko has become more diplomatic in recent months, he played a significant role in creating more pressure on the Mexican driver.
Daniel Ricciardo’s return to AlphaTauri was an additional stress factor for the 6-time race winner. The Australian’s intentions have been clear for months – to earn a return to Red Bull alongside Max Verstappen.
However, a combination of factors has limited his chances of stringing together consistent results at AlphaTauri. Therefore, Sergio Perez can rest assured for the 2024 season. Even during his more difficult patches, Christian Horner’s team has shown a clear willingness to make this partnership work.
Marko positive about Perez
Speaking after the Brazilian GP, Helmut Marko gave a positive assessment of Perez’s latest form:
“Since Austin, the pace has been right in both qualifying and the race.
“We now have a commanding lead over Hamilton of almost 30 points. That should now work out for second place.”
In some ways, it is only at Red Bull that a driver with a confirmed contract could be under such uncertainty. With Perez’s contract officially expiring at the end of 2024, it won’t take long before this subject is revisited in F1 circles.
Several drivers will be available in next year’s market, likely creating a more volatile environment. Beyond this, the Austrian team still has Liam Lawson waiting for a full-time opportunity.
In 2022, Alpine committed a blunder that saw them lose Oscar Piastri to McLaren. If Red Bull wants to avoid this, they must ensure the Kiwi doesn’t spend excessive time on the sidelines. In combination with the inevitable comparisons that will be made between Perez and Ricciardo, next year could see plenty of conversations at Milton Keynes.