Sergio Perez is coming under increasing scrutiny from within the Formula One community, with McLaren’s Lando Norris the latest to question the Mexican’s position at Red Bull in what many might consider a ‘disrespectful’ comment.
Norris suggested that several other drivers, including himself, could pose a greater challenge to Max Verstappen’s dominance.
Perez’s battle with Verstappen
Perez has faced a formidable challenge in the 2023 season as he has been comprehensively outperformed by his teammate, Max Verstappen. While Verstappen has been in superb form, claiming victory after victory and dominating the championship, Perez has lagged far behind in both race wins and overall points.
Perez’s performance this season has paled in comparison to his teammate Verstappen’s commanding lead. With just two wins to Verstappen’s seventeen, Perez finds himself a distant second in the team’s internal battle, fuelling speculation about his future with the team.
Despite showing flashes of speed and competitiveness, Perez has been unable to consistently match the pace of Verstappen, who has firmly established himself as the team’s lead driver. This disparity has led to increased scrutiny of Perez’s role at Red Bull, sparking discussions about the dynamics within the team and potential changes that could lie ahead.
A line-up of potential successors
Several drivers have been touted as potential replacements for Perez, should Red Bull decide to make a change. Names such as Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc and George Russell have all been mentioned as candidates who could intensify the competition for Verstappen.
“I would like to be one at some point,” Norris said to DAZN on joining Red Bull. “Who else could it be? It would be nice if it was Lewis [Hamilton], it would be amazing to see him.
“Or Fernando [Alonso], or Carlos [Sainz], or Charles [Leclerc], or [George] Russell? They’re all great drivers who you know would make it tougher for him [Verstappen]. There have always been rumours with me and other drivers.”
Norris’ ambiguous response to Red Bull rumours
Norris himself has been linked with a seat at Red Bull, a move that would see him team up with his friend Verstappen. While he has expressed interest in the prospect, he has remained coy when asked about any concrete discussions, offering only a ‘no comment’ to fuel the rumour mill.
Despite previous links to Red Bull, Norris has shown a strong commitment to McLaren, having been with the team since his debut in 2019. Even after talks with Red Bull, he chose to extend his contract with McLaren until 2025, demonstrating his belief in the team’s potential to help him achieve his career ambitions.
The future for Perez and Red Bull
As the season progresses, Perez’s position at Red Bull continues to be the subject of intense debate. With Norris’s recent comments and rumours of other top drivers in the mix, the pressure is mounting on Perez to secure his place in the team or face the possibility of a high-profile replacement.
The F1 paddock is abuzz with speculation regarding Sergio Perez’s future at Red Bull, especially in light of Lando Norris’ recent comments. With several high-profile drivers potentially vying for his seat, Perez’s tenure at Red Bull is under the microscope as the team evaluates its options for a partner to match Verstappen’s exceptional performance.
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