Pressure mounts on Sergio Perez as Red Bull 'exploring options' for Max Verstappen's future teammate

Japan F1 GP Auto Racing
Sergio Perez at the Japan F1 GP Auto Racing

Pressure continues to mount on Sergio Perez as Red Bull boss Christian Horner has admitted the team will explore available options for Max Verstappen's future teammate.

Perez has been part of the team since 2021 and has contributed well, playing a pivotal role in the 2021 F1 Championship finale. However, he has had a poor run in 2023 and has been completely outclassed by teammate Max Verstappen. So much so that team consultant Helmut Marko has openly admitted the team could look at alternatives.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner was also recently questioned about the future lineups, especially with Liam Lawson being very impressive in his limited opportunities. Horner replied in the affirmative but also revealed that the team will take a call on drivers beyond 2024 when the right time comes.

Touching on who could possibly team up with Max Verstappen, Horner said they would explore every option, including Sergio Perez and Yuki Tsunoda. He told Sky Sports:

"I think he’s certainly turned heads and gave us plenty to think about, in particular following his Singapore drive. He’s doing everything possible to justify a case for a full-time drive, but unfortunately three into two doesn’t go."

He added:

"Who knows? At Red Bull Racing we want the best two drivers that are available. We’ve got a long-term contract with Max. Checo is out of contract at the end of ’24 and so you want to explore and see all of those options."
"Checo is in the hot seat at the moment and will obviously be keen to extend. We’ll see how Daniel does; we’ll see how Yuki does and in the background we’ll see what Liam’s capable of in the test-and-reserve role," he continued.

Sergio Perez had a disastrous race at the Japanese GP

To make things worse, Sergio Perez had a thoroughly disappointing race weekend in the Japanese GP. It all started with the sub-par qualifying, which meant he started the race in P5.

Sergio Perez then had a poor start and hit Lewis Hamilton twice. The race unravelled for him from that point on, as he had to pit for a new front wing. The Mexican then ended up hitting Kevin Magnussen and ruining his race.

Perez did all of this while also picking up two distinct penalties that cost him four penalty points.

The 33-year-old's partnership with Red Bull is currently on a knife's edge as he tries to hold on to the opportunity of driving for a top team.

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Edited by Pritha Ghosh
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