Sergio Perez, who has been with Red Bull Racing since 2021, witnessed turmoil this year. Excessive pressure to match his teammate Max Verstappen, accompanied by bad luck, has resulted in an underwhelming performance on the track from the Mexican. Perez is currently lagging 177 points behind his teammate in the driver’s championship standings.
Moreover, Lewis Hamilton, who is in relatively weaker machinery, is chasing Sergio Perez’s P2 spot with a 33-point deficit. Certainly, the Mexican driver finds himself in hot waters. Earlier, Red Bull promised to back the driver till the end of his contract in 2024. However, with the recent fallout at the Japanese Grand Prix, Christian Horner is having a change of heart.
Christian Horner Admits To Exploring Options For Second Red Bull Seat!
After the Singapore GP failure, Red Bull Racing bounced back at the recently concluded Japanese Grand Prix. Max Verstappen saw the checkered flag first as the drink-based team successfully defended the constructors’ championship. It could have been a perfect day at the office for the Bulls had Sergio Perez secured better results. The underfire driver witnessed a DNF mid-race as he damaged his front wing twice in multiple collisions. He finished without points for the second time in a row. Subsequently, the chorus for Perez’s potential exit once again gained momentum. Checo has a contract till the end of the 2024 season, and the team earlier promised to back him wholeheartedly.
However, Christian Horner, Red Bull’s team principal, conveniently backtracked from his statement. He said that Sergio Perez is in the hot seat, and the team is already looking for options beyond the 2024 season. They are looking at Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo as potential suitors. Even rookie Liam Lawson is in the mix. Horner says they want the two best drivers for the main Red Bull team and thus want to explore all the available options. This certainly means that Checo will be out of contract after 2024 if not 2023. The team is already distancing itself from the Mexican driver, and not all are in favor of his continuation. It would be interesting to see if Perez sees the end of his existing contract, as the chances are very slim.
Sergio Perez Escapes Scrutiny By Exploiting FIA Rulebook!
At the Japanese Grand Prix, Sergio Perez was forced to retire after witnessing multiple collisions that damaged his front wing, including other components. However, Red Bull, surprisingly, sent him back on the track for two laps. It was apparently to save Perez from getting a penalty into the next race. Checo had received a five-second penalty for safety car infringement, which he hadn’t served.
As per the FIA rulebook, if Perez had failed to serve the penalty, he would have received a grid place penalty for the next race. Thus, Red Bull exploited the loophole and sent Checo out for a lap, who then served the penalty in the pits and then returned to the garage after another lap. It was well within the rules, which cleared out Sergio Perez of any penalty threat.