Two weeks ago, Red Bull principal Christian Horner mentioned that Sergio Perez is as important to the Red Bull team as Max Verstappen. But the pressure is increasing too high for the Mexican driver. He had a DNF in the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend. Clearly, it has been a pretty inconsistent season for Checo. He won a couple of races at the beginning of the season. At the time, it looked like he could give his teammate a strong fight for the title.
But things started to fade away since the Miami Grand Prix. Max Verstappen went on to break Sebastian Vettel’s 10-race winning streak. On the other hand, Sergio Perez had multiple DNFs as well as trouble in Q3 quite a few times. On top of that, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko had been pretty mean to Checo almost every time. Apparently, Marko has been extremely proud of Max Verstappen for his achievements. Ricciardo was also a top contender to replace Checo. But later, the Aussie sustained an injury. And recently, Christian Horner confirmed the news that they are actively looking for drivers who can replace Checo.
Christian Horner Reveals Red Bull Is Looking To Replace Sergio Perez
In an interview with Sky Sports F1, the Red Bull boss suggested that they were thinking about Lando Norris, who can replace Checo in 2025. But if McLaren doesn’t let Norris go, then Red Bull will have to take help from its sister team, Alpha Tauri. Yuki Tsunoda and Liam Lawson can be the alternatives Red Bull can look for. But Christian Horner mentioned Lando Norris is a great personality and certainly among the drivers they have their eyes on. However, it is not an easy task to be teammates with Max Verstappen.
The Red Bull boss knows some drivers are up for the challenge and some are not. But it is absolutely essential for the Red Bull boss to field the best possible team with two drivers. At present, Max Verstappen’s commitment and confidence are sky-high. But it is getting impossible to continue with Sergio Perez. Currently, he is 177 points behind his teammate. If Red Bull is looking for a wingman to Max Verstappen, then Sergio Perez is still a better option. Checo helped the Dutchman win the last two championships.
Checo Has Been Under A Lot Of Pressure
Checo has mentioned several times that it is too hard to be a teammate of Max Verstappen. Daniel Ricciardo and Piere Gasly can relate to Checo as well. Sergio Perez has been going through a dip in his self-confidence since the Miami Grand Prix. He mentioned hiring a mental coach was very helpful. But the pressure does not seem to decrease at all for Checo.
Since the Monaco Grand Prix failure, people have been talking about the replacement of Sergio Perez in Red Bull. He has one more year in his contract with the Austrian team. But there were rumors that if Checo does not close the gap between him and his teammate, Red Bull will replace him. Like what Alpha Tauri did with Nyck De Vries as Daniel Ricciardo replaced him. The fear for Checo is that something similar is going to happen to him as well.