The recent Mexican Grand Prix was a mixed bag for Red Bull Racing. While Max Verstappen continued his spectacular form and added another victory to the team’s tally, his team-mate Sergio Perez couldn’t quite make it work in his home race.
The Mexican retired after a collision with Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari, marring what had been a promising weekend for him. However, Red Bull Racing’s senior advisor, Helmut Marko, remains fully behind Perez, quashing any rumours that Verstappen could be on the move in the immediate future.
The incident: A tough break for Perez
Sergio “Checo” Perez went into his home race weekend with high expectations, looking to put in a strong performance in front of his home fans. Unfortunately, that plan quickly unravelled when he collided with Charles Leclerc. The contact ended Perez’s race on the spot, fuelling speculation that the Mexican rider is going through a difficult period in his career.
Helmut Marko defends Perez
Marko, the iconic figure behind Red Bull Racing’s successes, has come to Perez’s defence. He told the French publication Next-Gen Auto: “It was a racing incident, it can happen. He saw an opportunity. He was on the outside of Leclerc and wanted to go inside. A racing incident…
“You can’t blame Checo,”
Marko also lamented the loss of championship points, saying: “It’s a shame that we lost 19 points against Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship,”
Is a team change on the horizon?
Rumours of a possible replacement for Sergio Perez have been doing the rounds in the F1 community. However, Marko was quick to dismiss the rumours: “How many times do I have to say it? Checo has a contract for 2024 and it will happen,
He went on to highlight the positives, pointing out that Perez was less than two-tenths of a second behind Verstappen in qualifying. According to Marko, this is a “great achievement” that should inspire Perez to maintain a high level of performance in the final three races of the season.
While Verstappen may have been the beneficiary of Perez’s misfortune, scoring points that put him in an even stronger position in the championship, there has been no indication from him that he wants a new partner at Red Bull Racing.
Although he did not comment directly on the subject after the Mexican Grand Prix, Marko’s statement makes it clear that any immediate changes to the driver line-up are unlikely.
While the Mexican Grand Prix offered contrasting fortunes for Red Bull Racing’s drivers, it also underlined the team’s commitment to its existing line-up. Sergio Perez’s early exit was undoubtedly a low point for the team, but the strong support he received from both Helmut Marko and, by extension, Max Verstappen, suggests that the Mexican driver’s seat at Red Bull Racing remains secure – at least until 2024.
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The Formula One season got off to a promising start for the Silverstone-based Aston Martin team. With an astonishing seven podium finishes early on, they were seen as the main challenger to Red Bull’s supremacy in the sport. But the tables have turned, and not for the better. Signs are not good at Aston Martin, and Alonso is rumoured to be already looking towards another project.
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