Marko shock statement on Perez

After a string of qualifying disappointments, questions have arisen about Sergio Perez’s future at Red Bull Racing. Following the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, the team’s Sporting Director, Helmut Marko, made a surprising statement about Perez’s position within the team.

British tabloids have already speculated that Perez’s tenure at Red Bull is coming to an end, with The Mail Online suggesting that the knives are out for the Mexican driver.

 

Despite finishing the race in sixth place, former F1 driver Mark Webber was unimpressed with Perez’s performance. Webber emphasized the importance of delivering in all conditions, stating that Perez needs to improve his qualifying and mixed-weather performance.

“Anyone can gain positions in the races. Even I can do that, even though I’m an old fart now,” Webber told Channel 4.

“He has to sort qualifying out, he has to sort the mixed conditions out, and I think he’s going to be alright but at this level you have to deliver in all conditions.”

 

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The Ricciardo question

Meanwhile, Red Bull’s reserve driver, Daniel Ricciardo, has been patiently waiting for a full-time seat at Red Bull and hopes to secure one by 2024. However, team boss Christian Horner doesn’t foresee that happening anytime soon, despite the Perez disappointment at Silverstone.

Speaking after the British Grand Prix, Horner expressed his support for Perez, while the driver himself remains confident in the team’s backing.

When asked about Ricciardo taking over Perez’s seat, Horner said: 

“It’s not something that we’re planning, that’s for certain,” Horner told media after the British GP.

“So it was right to give him the opportunity this year to remain within the team and keep him around the sport,

“I think it would have been a loss to the sport for him just to disappear and I think that I didn’t recognise the Daniel of the last couple of years so I’ll be very interested to see what kind of job he does on Tuesday.”

Ricciardo will be testing for Pirelli at Silverstone this week in a Red Bull car. Red Bull themselves admitted that this test in a real car as opposed to the Simulator will be a useful assessment as to where the Australian sits in terms of driving ability. Red Bull will be keeping a close eye on how he does.

 

 

Perez: Red Bull support me

Perez disregards rumours of being replaced by Red Bull’s test driver, Daniel Ricciardo, stating that he is indifferent to such speculation after his 13-year career in Formula 1.

He believes “The whole team is behind me. They know what I can do. They know my potential.”

For Perez, the focus before the summer break is on salvaging his season and maintaining enjoyment in the sport. Perez acknowledges the challenges he has faced in qualifying but is determined to find solutions. Together with the team, Perez plans to work on a few ideas in the simulator on Monday following the Silverstone race.

 

 

Perez recognizes the importance of a strong Saturday performance but believes that Sunday is when the points are awarded. While qualifying struggles persist, Perez remains optimistic, confident that improvements will be made. He emphasizes the need for a clean weekend and believes that the pace is there to deliver strong race performances.

“I think the devil is in the detail,” Perez says. “In the recent races I’ve become a bit more sensitive about the car, and especially on Saturday with little fuel. But we are just working with such a limited detail spectrum.”

 

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Marko’s shock comment on Perez to Austrian media

Perhaps rather shockingly, the ‘axe-man’ sporting director Dr Helmut Marko has come to Perez’s defense, stating that Perez was the fastest driver in the field during the final ten laps at Silverstone and drove faster than his teammate Max Verstappen.

However, the results did not reflect this: on lap 42 Perez was 9.6 seconds behind Verstappen in eighth place, and by the finish in P6 he was 12.8 seconds behind. Perez was only faster than his team-mate at certain points and by a few tenths in individual laps. So this appears to be a rhetoric by the senior management of Red Bull to keep Perez on track, at least for now.

However, Marko acknowledges that Perez’s qualifying results have not reflected his race pace during his post-race interview with the Austrian media channel ‘ORF’.

Despite finishing behind Verstappen, Perez’s drive from 15th to 6th place was described as impeccable by Marko, who also highlighted that Perez extended his lead over third place.

“Saturday is not everything, “and “the positive thing is that the pace will be there on Sunday. That’s when the points will be awarded. But we still have to manage to have a clean weekend. Because the pace itself is right.”

“Everything fits, except for qualifying. But we’ll get to grips with that too.”

 

Verstappen dismissive of Perez efforts

 

 

Perez explains what went wrong at Silverstone

Perez acknowledges the challenge of qualifying, attributing it to his driving style and the team’s approach on Saturdays. The Mexican admitted that particularly in mixed weather conditions of recent qualifying sessions has hampered him.

Despite the setbacks, Perez remains unfazed and believes progress is being made. With a long season ahead, he is confident that he can turn his season around.

Reflecting on the British Grand Prix, Perez feels he did everything he could and has no regrets about his race performance. However, he faced difficulties during the race due to external factors. He was pushed off the track by Esteban Ocon on the first lap, causing him to lose positions instead of gaining them.

“We had a great start, but then I was pushed off the track by Ocon on lap one. As a result, I lost positions instead of gaining them. That made it difficult for me to catch up.”

 

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Tricky race issues

Perez also made a self-inflicted error by choosing the outside lane, running out of room and swerving into the run-off zone. As a result, he lost further positions to Logan Sargeant and Yuki Tsunoda.

Perez’s race was further complicated when he made contact with Nico HĂĽlkenberg, causing damage to HĂĽlkenberg’s front wing.

“A little racing incident,” is how Perez puts it. “I was lucky not to get a puncture in the process.”

 

The strain on Perez’s medium tires in the early stages of the race became a concern, and his pit stop occurred just a few laps before the safety car period.

Despite these challenges, Perez remains optimistic and believes that luck and improved performance can lead to better results in future races. Just how patient the Red Bull management remains, is anyone’s guess.

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