Red Bull Racing has been fiercely dominating Formula One since the past season. Their top driver, Max Verstappen, is leading the driver’s championship with over 100 points, led by his teammate, Sergio Perez. While Verstappen is cruising in his RB19, Checo has struggled relatively. At the recently concluded Belgian GP, he got defeated by his teammate by 22 seconds despite driving the same machinery.
Sergio Perez‘s struggles go beyond the Belgian Grand Prix. On many occasions, he failed to move past Q3 in qualifying sessions. As a result, tensions are growing within the Red Bull camp. Moreover, as per rumors, the drink-based team is apparently auditioning for the second seat as they remain unsure of Checo’s future in the team. Amid these uncertainties, a veteran driver’s surprising visit to the team’s camp has sparked mega-seat swap speculations.
Haas Driver Nico Hulkenberg Pays A Surprise Visit At Red Bull Facility At Belgian GP
Nico Hulkenberg, a 35-year-old Formula One driver, signed with the Haas F1 team and partnered with Kevin Magnussen to race for the 2023 season. Despite his talent, he has faced challenges securing a permanent seat with a top team throughout his career. Meanwhile, recently, the German driver delivered standout performances in qualifying sessions which impressed Red Bull’s motorsport advisor, Helmut Marko. He thinks of Hulkenberg as a perfect racing partner for Max Verstappen. Also, it is well-versed that the German driver and Dutchman get along really well off the track. Amid these, F1 reporter Natalie Pinkham spotted Hulkenberg paying Red Bull a visit at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Apparently, Nico Hulkenberg entered the Red Bull paddock alongside Max Verstappen with a huge suitcase. He changed his outfit and exited the team facility shortly after. These update has sparked major driver swap speculation. However, Dutch reporter Erik van Haren seemingly rejected the rumor. He said that Nico and Verstappen get along really well. As a result, Erik believes that he could have flown with the 25-year-old in his private jet to arrive for the race weekend. The journalist does not see Nico and Verstappen teaming up in the future. Having said that, the way Hulkenberg is rising up the ranks, anything and everything is a possibility.
Sergio Perez Drops Championship Dreams
At the recently concluded Belgian Grand Prix, Sergio Perez finished P2 behind his teammate Max Verstappen. Despite driving the same machinery, Perez got defeated by 22 odd seconds. However, the Mexican driver isn’t much concerned as he has conceded defeat. Checo earlier confirmed that he is not thinking of winning a championship as he wants to be the best number two.
Sergio Perez is seemingly under a lot of pressure. It is visible in the way he drives. While the team officials are backing him wholeheartedly, Checo somewhere is self-aware that his seat is under threat. Having said that, securing a championship this season is next to impossible. The best he can do right now is prove his worth to maintain his 2024 season contract with Red Bull.