Sergio Perez receives former double F1 champion’s support after Red Bull contract extension

F1 Grand Prix of Canada - Previews
Sergio Perez during a press conference ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend

After several rumors and a cloud of uncertainty, Formula 1 driver Sergio Perez has signed a two-year extension contract with the Red Bull Racing F1 team. While some have been critical of the Mexican driver, others have given him their support.

Perez became a part of Red Bull racing when he was on the verge of losing his Formula 1 seat in 2021. After Lawrence Stroll took over the management of the Racing Points team, he surprised the F1 world by announcing the arrival of the quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel to replace Perez in the 2021 season.

With just a few Grand Prix weekends remaining and nothing available on the horizon, Perez focused his effort on his next race at Sakhir. The #11 driver qualified in fifth position for the race.

As the race began, an early contact with the midfield pack saw Perez move to the back of the pack with a puncture. However, the young Mexican kept his cool and clawed back lost ground soon. He finished the race in style by bagging his first career race win. This caught the attention of the Austrian outfit, which offered him a seat alongside Max Verstappen.

Although Perez proved his mettle at the Milton-Keyes-based team, his incident with Verstappen and his overall dip in performance caused a rift within the team.

The massive lap 1 wreck at the Monaco Grand Prix resulted in rumors about Perez losing his drive with Red Bull at the end of the 2024 season. However, the team announced a two-year extension with him, considering his overall consistency since 2021.

Now, ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, two-time Formula 1 world champion Mika Hakkinen has shared a post on X, supporting Sergio Perez:

"News that Checo (Perez) has re-signed for @redbullracing until 2026 has surprised some fans and commentators. There’s no reason for the team to change a driver line-up which delivered a 1–2 in the 2023 WDC. Drivers pushing each other is important, but so is having harmony. #CanadianGP" said Hakkinen.

With his contract renewed, Sergio Perez seems relieved ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend.

Despite the extension, a former world champion remains critical of Sergio Perez's performance in 2024

While Sergio Perez has managed to secure a place with Red Bull Racing, former Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve remains critical of the Mexican's performance in the 2024 season so far.

The retired Canadian legend called this season the 'worst ever' for Perez. During an interview with Best Online Poker Sites, Villeneuve said:

"He has had his worst season ever at Red Bull. Normally he would have an amazing first few races. But he hasn't even had that this year. So, he's collapsed on top of that!"

Villeneuve also highlighted the gap between Verstappen and Perez. He pointed out Perez's inability to match the pace of rivals from Scuderia Ferrari and McLaren in the past few races.

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