Max Verstappen and Red Bull have shown complete domination so far in the 2022 F1 championship. The Austrian outfit has a 97-point lead at the front in the constructors’ rankings, while the Dutchman has a comfortable 80-point lead in the drivers’ standings. Max has won eight of the 13 races with ten podiums and has secured the most 258 points so far. However, his teammate Sergio Perez has not had a similar fortune despite having the same car. The Mexican driver’s contract was extended until the end of 2024, after he won the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix. 

However, Checo has found himself lagging behind Max in terms of points and success in recent times. The 32-year-old has secured just two podiums since May and is currently third in the drivers’ championship, five points behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. He is trailing the Dutchman by 85 points, which comes as a big surprise. Recently, Red Bull chief Helmut Marko has revealed the reason why Sergio Perez has taken a back seat in the championship after he looked quite close to challenging Verstappen in the title battle at one point.

Chief Helmut Marko Explains The Reason Behind Sergio Perez’s Lag

Hamilton & Marko

Helmut Marko revealed that the RB18’s upgrades had been a major factor in the massive difference between the two Red Bull drivers. The Austrian outfit is focused on making the car according to Verstappen’s liking. Thus, the Verstappen factor is automatically being emphasized at Red Bull more than before. Morover, the 79-year-old shared that it was important for the team to get the best of their outstanding driver, resulting in Perez falling down to the normal level.

However, Marko suggested that being Max is not easy either. The Dutchman likes a car that is good at the front and does not care about the rear. Marko told Max does not mind driving a car whose rear breaks out at 300 kmph while all drivers, including Perez, would have called it undrivable.

Is Sergio Perez Leaving Red Bull To Join Mercedes?

Marko further shared that the RB18 was still ending towards understeer. But, the teams have made some clinical changes to find more pace and potential out in the car. Meanwhile, Perez’s troubles at Red Bull also associated him with Mercedes. It was rumored that the three-time F1 GP winner could replace Lewis Hamilton when the Briton decided to leave the sport. The seven-time world champ was in a tough spot after losing the title last year and had shut down his social media for a couple of months. 

Max Verstappen & Checo Red Bull
Max & Checo

It led to speculations that Lewis might end up retiring from the sport after the end of the 2022 season. However, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff denied contacting Sergio Perez regarding the matter. Wolff said, “It’s completely b*******.” The former Austrian driver claimed to have never called Sergio. He thinks Checo is a good guy and respects his skills. However, Wolff did not have a talk or any contract with the driver. Wolff insisted that Lewis Hamilton is not leaving anytime soon and would continue to lead the team.