Marko speaks out on Perez contract clause

As the Formula One season enters its second phase of 2023, even with ten races remaining the two world championships are all but settled. Yet this is the time of year when the driver market begins to hot up and most years there’s an announcement which surprises the F1 world.

Last year matters exploded with the announcement that Fernando Alonso was leaving Alpine for a new multi-year contract with Aston Martin. Alpine subsequently announced he would be replaced by their academy driver Oscar Piastri. Yet within 90 minutes the young Australian refuted this claim on twitter causing the French owned F1 team huge embarrassment.




Chaos in the F1 driver market

The chain of events which occurred turned was should have been a fairly run of the mill range of announcements about driver contract extensions – with the odd new pay per drive rookie entering the sport at Williams – into a fairly chaotic process which lasted for several weeks.

This year the impending news will centre around the conundrum facing Ferrari with both their drivers being out of contract simultaneously in 2024. Ferrari will almost certainly announce a new deal with one or both not wishing to risk entering next season with uncertainly prevailing over their future driver line up.

The other big tale will be focused on the growing storm clouds over the head of Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Perez and whether Daniel Ricciardo can impress at AlphaTauri and oust the Mexican before the final year of his contract expires.


Perez F1 record deficit 

Checo has collected seven podium finishes this year, two of which were early season wins but he now stands an incredible 125 points behind Verstappen with ten races to go. To put this into perspective, Lewis Hamilton has never finished a championship winning year this many points clear of his nearest rival.

There are 10 races remaining and Verstappen could yet almost double this lead.

Clearly Verstappen is a once in a generation F1 talent, yet Perez is still driving the best car on the F1 grid by far. While this season Sergio’s final standing will not affect the team or Max’s title hopes were things to be tighter next year Checo could cost Red Bull a constructor’s championship.

In every Formula One driver’s contract clauses are inserted to provide for exceptional events and allow either party to take remedial action. A team trying to attract a top driver may agree a break clause in their contract which allows the driver to leave early should the car they provide him with not meet specific performance targets.

Pirelli critics FIA wasteful policy



Contract deviations normal in F1

Conversely, a driver may suffer the same fate and have his contract terminated by the team should he fail to meet specifically agreed goals. The best measure of an F1 driver’s performance having extracted mechanical problems and non-fault failures, is to measure them against their team mate. 

The two F1 cars a team runs each weekend whilst not exactly identical each time they are on track, are in essence the same design. The driver and his crew may close different variables form their team mate such as suspension set up of downforce levels.

At times drivers can become paranoid that the team is giving them the ‘wrong’ setup having watched their team mate flying in qualifying or a race.

One of the tipping points which ended Lewis Hamilton’s career at McLaren was during the first race after the summer break in Belgium 2012.

New F1 team secret Russian funding FIA discovered



Hamilton paranoid team against him

The rivalry between Lewis and team mate Jenson Button was intense, with Button at the time being the first driver in the same car to finish ahead of Hamilton at the end of the season. Even now there are only three times this has happened in Lewis’ seventeen year F1 career.

Button had blitzed Hamilton in qualifying claiming pole position with a time of 1:47:573. Lewis however was down in a lowly eight place almost eight tenths of a second behind Button.

There was an undercurrent with the McLaren team at the time with Ron Dennis having felt it necessary to slap down Hamilton in public by reminding him and the media, that he was the team boss.

“When I last looked at the contract I was paying him. It’s a question of whether we employ him, not the other way around,” Dennis had stated to the media several weeks prior to the race in Spa.

Renault F1 engine deal: Andretti now in pole position



Perez false accusation RB19 brakes faulty

Following the qualifying session at the iconic Belgium circuit, Hamilton was livid and all but accused his team publicly of sabotaging his efforts.

Lewis tweeted his and Jenson’s telemetry in an effort to demonstrate his car was badly set up by his crew. The telemetry sheet not only contained traces of the two drivers’ laps, showing where Hamilton was losing time to Button, but also information about the car’s settings, including sensitive data such as its ride height.

Hamilton was forced to take down his tweet and a number of others which had acronym’s for expletives.

Sergio appeared to demonstrate a certain level of Paranoia this year back in Australia where beached his car in Q1 and started form the back of the grid.

FIA ban Aston Martin “flexi-wing”



Checo experienced previous ‘break’ clause

Perez insisted there was a problem with the car, yet Red Bull boss Christian Horner contradicted his driver and stated the braking variance Sergio complained about was adjusted by the driver from within the cockpit.

Much has been made of Daniel Ricciardo being a potential replacement for the Red Bull Mexican driver, but if the team are to switch out Perez a year before his contract expires at the end of 2024, the will want to do so legally.

Perez is driving for Red Bull because his former employer Lawrence Stroll of Aston Martin exploited a break clause in Checo’s contract to terminate his employment a year early at the end of 2020.

And now Sergio is facing the real possibility he may find Red Bull acting in a similar fashion.

Audi sack F1 chief over “progress” fears



RBR to vary Sergio’s contract

Dutch publication De Telegraaf is reporting today there is a clause in Perez’s contract which will be activated should he fall 125 points behind his team mate. It states Red Bull have the option of downgrading their Mexican driver’s remuneration from €7m basic plus €3m bonus.

What is strange is that there is no talk of Red Bull ending Perez contract prematurely at the end of this season, because there will certainly be a performance clause which allows them to do this too.

With ten races remaining this year it could be Red Bull do not want to destabilise their number two driver until both they and Verstappen have claimed both championships.

Further, having been painted as the bad guys and ‘cheats’ unfairly last year, sacking Perez mid season is an optic Red Bull could do without.

Mercedes claim to have fixed their troublesome W14




Perez driving RB19, ‘safe for now’

There are a number of controversial subjects and potential curve balls set to emerge in the coming weeks with the FIA to announce their cost cap aduki findings and the result of the new F1 team applications.

Perez has resigned himself to being Verstappen’s wing man of the rest of this year and following his two podiums at the races before the summer break Checo has clearly set himself a target for the remainder of the year.

“From now on I look forward to, theoretically, be on the podium every single weekend, so let’s keep it up,” he told Sky F1.

F1 rule change that will hard Red Bull




Marko speaks out on Checo contract

With Singapore just handful of races away where Sergio drove one of the best races of his life last year, he may well do better than just podiums over the last ten F1 events.

Though should Perez claim nine or ten podiums and end the season with only five or six weekends where he failed to achieve this, it could be the kind of performance that will reward him with his final year driving for the world champions.

Today Helmut Marko has spoken out on the issue of Sergio’s contract in particular to the contract clause reportedly enacted by Red Bull Racing.

“I don’t know where that’s coming from,” Red Bull’s Marko told Sport1. “It’s completely out of thin air.

F1 struggle with Vegas ticket sales



Perez recovered form may override clause

“The contracts are strictly regulated. There will be no pay cuts,”  added the Austrian advisor to the world champions.

Of course a regulated contract can absolutely include pay cuts based on performance yet Marko claims Perez improved for at the final two Grand Prix before the summer break should see him through for now.

But even if pay-cut clauses did exist, Marko says he’s happy with Perez’s recent recovery after a slump.

“Perez was in a bit of a crisis, but he got the curve back in the last two races,” Marko suggests. “Verstappen is just unbeatable at the moment.

“Perez can’t do it but neither can any other driver. We have no reason to think about measures that affect Perez.”

Wolff slams F1 bosses for denying crucial upgrades



Red Bull short term position

Red Bull Racing will be considering whether to take up the option on Sergio Perez for next season  when examining the probability that they will face a much closer challenge from a number of teams like Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and Aston Martin.

Were one of these to emerge the best of the rest and provide a strong challenge to Verstappen, Red Bull will need a driver who is capable of lasting the course of the whole season without big drop offs in form as Oerez has suffered this year.

The most likely candidate is Daniel Ricciardo. Red Bull acquired his services after he was dumped by McLaren for a good reason. The Aussie has proven during three seasons he can compete well as a team mate against the reigning world champion.

It is this kind of driver performance Red Bull will require should the constructors’ race in 2024 become a much closer affair than at present. 

READ MORE: Mercedes refuses Hamilton contract requests



MORE F1 NEWS: Wolff gives up…

Toto Wolffs latest Horner taunt is rather lame by his standards, indeed some might say he’s ‘given up’ an decades old rivalry between himself and Christian Horner of Red Bull. Critics of Toto Wolff would argue he breezed into Formula One taking advantage of others’ work just in time for Mercedes AMG F1 to receive the dominant power unit of the new hybrid era. This together with the recruitment of Lewis Hamilton saw the team dominate Formula One for the best part of a decade.

Yet the story is more intricate than this and before we examine Toto Wolff’s latest taunt at Christian Horner it’s worth understanding the back story to their fraught and at times outright vicious….. READ MORE ON THIS STORY



9 responses to “Marko speaks out on Perez contract clause

  1. Does nobody ever proof-read these articles? It appears to have been written by a schoolchild, so many grammatical mistakes. Also, there is nothing new here, just a re-hash of what has been written by others already.

    • I gave up attempting to read this after the first couple of paragraphs. This passes as journalism these days? Even worse, is the editing.

  2. Can you please proof read your article before posting it. This article is littered with typos not worthy of such an organisation.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.