Sergio Perez, the Mexican driver for Red Bull Racing, has addressed and dismissed the conspiracy theories circulating on social media that suggest he is being sabotaged by his own team. Perez has been going through a challenging period in recent months, experiencing a series of setbacks that resulted in five consecutive races without reaching Q3.
As a result, he has slipped out of contention for the F1 Drivers’ title, trailing his teammate Max Verstappen by a substantial 99 points.
Verstappen: Door open for Ricciardo
After challenging days for Sergio Perez at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen suggested that a door could be open for Daniel Ricciardo to return as his teammate at Red Bull. Perez’s day took a disastrous turn when he crashed his RB19 during an out lap in the first practice session, causing extensive damage to the front of the car, including the newly introduced side pod design and associated cooling system – part of Red Bull’s major update for the season.
During the Hungarian Grand Prix media session, Verstappen expressed his admiration for Ricciardo and his regret that the Australian driver left Red Bull in the past.
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“I mean, I never actually wanted him to leave,” Verstappen candidly revealed.
The Dutch driver further emphasized the camaraderie and strong bond between himself and Ricciardo, highlighting that they get along very well.
“And yeah, I mean, if Daniel, of course, does well where he is now, then of course, you have the opportunity to go back up, right? So it’s all open to be honest,” Verstappen added.
Red Bull sabotage theory
The pressure has been mounting on Perez, especially considering Red Bull’s reputation for making decisive driver changes. The recent replacement of Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri with Daniel Ricciardo further highlights the team’s ruthlessness in driver selection.
However, Perez has firmly denied any suggestion of sabotage within the team. In a recent interview with Mundo Deportivo, he stated, “No, no, that’s impossible. The team is totally focused on giving me the opportunity to perform at my best. I feel the support of the whole team.”
Despite his recent struggles, Perez remains second in the F1 Drivers’ standings, and he attributes this position to his strong performances earlier in the season.
“Now I’m only thinking about this moment, about getting back to the level I had at the beginning of the season.
“People forget and think that I’m second in the championship because they give away the points in store.
“If I’m still second in the World Championship after the bad run I’ve had, it’s because of my good start to the year.”
Getting back on track
He is now determined to regain his form and return to the level he displayed at the start of the year.
“My only goal now is to get back to that level, and I’m not thinking beyond that. I’m not thinking about 2025,” Perez emphasized.
As the F1 season progresses, all eyes will be on Perez as he strives to bounce back from his challenging period and regain his competitive edge. The Mexican driver aims to silence the critics and prove his worth within the Red Bull Racing team.