“It's completely out of thin air”: Claims of Sergio Perez’s salary reduction clause in F1 contract dismissed by Red Bull chief

F1 Grand Prix of Austria - Practice
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has banished the rumors of a "special clause" in Sergio Perez's contract

Red Bull's advisor Helmut Marko has quashed speculations surrounding Sergio Perez's contract and his pay being slashed based on points differences with his teammate, Max Verstappen.

A suggestion had emerged that a performance-based clause could lead to a reduction in Perez's multi-million dollar salary due to his current points deficit behind Verstappen.

The title challenge Sergio Perez had initially spoken about earlier in the F1 season has gradually faded away. His primary focus now shifts towards securing the second position in the Drivers' Championship, with runaway leader Verstappen poised to take the championship crown.

The all-conquering dominance of Red Bull's RB19 car has propelled it to victory in all 12 grand prix races of the 2023 season. Sergio Perez finds himself trailing Max Verstappen by a substantial 125 points in the standings.

A report by De Telegraaf had ignited rumors that this point differential could trigger a clause in Perez's contract allowing Red Bull to reduce his salary.

However, Helmut Marko categorically denied the existence of any such clause.

"I don't know where this is coming from again," Marko stated in an interview with F1-Insider.com.
"It's completely made up out of thin air. The contracts are precisely regulated. There will be no salary cuts. I can only say it again and again: we are leading the Drivers' Championship with both drivers and are clearly ahead in the team ranking," he added.

Max Verstappen's form has got nothing to do with Sergio Perez's future, according to Helmut Marko

The reigning world champion has had a recent string of eight consecutive victories, bringing his total wins for the season to an impressive 10. Helmut Marko has, hence, emphasized that the current field lacks any driver who could challenge Verstappen's supremacy in the RB19 car.

Thus, Red Bull does not see any reason to take punitive measures against Sergio Perez for his performance. Marko also reaffirmed that Perez remains under contract with the team until the end of 2024. He said:

"Max is driving in a league of his own. There is therefore no reason to think about measures concerning Perez. May I remind you that he still has a contract with Red Bull Racing in 2024."

Sergio Perez, after coming down with poor form this season following a brilliant start, has shown signs of improvement over the last two races. However, the swirling rumors about Daniel Ricciardo potentially taking Perez's seat for the F1 2024 season continue to circulate.

As the F1 season resumes after the summer break, Perez's task becomes even more challenging. The Dutch Grand Prix at Circuit Zandvoort, which serves as Max Verstappen's home race, will be the first race after the hiatus. With Verstappen's current form and the team's dominant RB19 car, Sergio Perez faces an uphill battle to close the points gap.

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Edited by Aditya Singh