On Thin Ice: Perez’s Battle to Maintain His Red Bull Racing Seat

Sergio Perez is at risk of losing his seat despite recently signing a contract extension with Red Bull.

F1’s silly season is getting sillier day by day. Drivers are concerned for their future and anxious to sign with a new team or renew their contracts with their existing teams. Even drivers who have already renewed aren’t safe from the silly season. Sergio Perez finds himself on the brink of losing his seat weeks after extending his contract with Red Bull Racing.

Sergio Perez joined Red Bull back in 2021 and has been driving alongside three-time world champion Max Verstappen. He recently renewed his contract for the upcoming season. But a new renewal doesn’t guarantee him a full-time seat.

Perez’s performance has seen a steady decline since the 2023 season. This season, Perez finished third in one race and had three second-place finishes in the first races of the season. But as the season progressed, his performance started to decline as he started to miss out on the Q3 appearance and after retiring in Monaco and Canada, Perez finished 17th at the British Grand Prix.  

“I know where I am in terms of contract and that sort of thing cannot let it be a distraction. I need to focus on the next two weekends, which are the priority, and together as a team, to get out of this difficult period.” – Perez after the British Grand Prix.

Is Sergio Perez not safe at Red Bull?

The Mexican’s performance has continued to drop week by week. As a result, rumours started to circulate in the paddock. A new clause on Perez’s contract started to come to light. It is speculated that if Perez doesn’t improve in the upcoming few races, then he might be replaced by Red Bull junior driver, Liam Lawson or former Red Bull driver, Daniel Ricciardo.

It is believed that the team have spoken to Perez regarding the clause and has asked him to perform better if he wishes to keep driving for Red Bull in the future. There are provisions in his contract that, should he fail to meet these expectations, could potentially result in his removal from the seat for the remainder of the season. Red Bull is a team that is known to replace or swap drivers mid-season. Therefore, there might be some truth in this.  

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Christian Horner on Perez’s uncertain future

After another dismal weekend for the Mexican driver at the British Grand Prix, where he finished Sunday’s race down in P17 after exiting qualifying in Q1, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has admitted that it is “unsustainable” for Perez to not be winning points. Perez was issued a caution by Horner that he would require a “big race” prior to the race at Silverstone.

“[Perez] knows it’s unsustainable to not be scoring points – we have to be scoring points in that car, and he knows that, He knows his role and his target, so nobody is more eager than Checo to find his form again.

“It’s something we’re acutely aware of, that to win the constructors’ championship you need both cars scoring.” – Horner said after the British Grand Prix.

Perez will have two races left before the summer break to secure his seat. Namely the Hungarian and the Belgian Grand Prix. He will have the only chance to maintain his position and demonstrate an improving performance. He will probably stay if and only if he satisfies the requirements and position clauses in the contract mentioned.  

As uncertainly looms over Perez’s future with Red Bull, Red Bull junior driver, Liam Lawson is set to test Max Verstappen’s RB20 at Silverstone for a filming day. Lawson will cover about 200 kilometers which is around 33 laps. How he performs could be crucial to Sergio Perez’s future.


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