Sergio Perez ‘has agreement’ to leave Red Bull and ‘his days are numbered’

Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher believes that Sergio Perez and Red Bull already have an agreement to part ways at the end of the season. The Mexican driver is out of contract at the end of the 2024 campaign but could depart ahead of schedule if results continue to underwhelm.

Checo headed into the Dutch Grand Prix hoping to spoil his Red Bull team-mate’s party, but a clumsy race execution saw him labour to a P4 finish having, at one stage, led the field by over ten seconds.

With another disappointing weekend behind him, the 33-year-old now trails his team-mate by 138 points heading into the Italian Grand Prix, and with Fernando Alonso finishing P2 last weekend he’ll now be looking over his shoulder in Drivers’ Championship standings. 

In his Sky Germany column, Schumacher explained: “Sergio Perez made another mistake when he hit the barrier at the entrance to the pit lane and earned a penalty for this action, which cost him second place in the end.

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“I think his days at Red Bull are numbered. Dr. Helmut Marko is not exactly known for his warm-hearted way of dealing with Perez. I don’t think Perez as a guy can deal with that very well, which is how I explain these serious mishaps. 

“Perez seemed very bad-tempered, disappointed and also absent throughout the weekend. I think there were already agreements regarding a separation after the end of the season.”

After Liam Lawson impressed on his F1 debut, Checo is facing pressure from multiple different angles, although Daniel Ricciardo’s hand injury will relieve some of that in the short term.

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Ricciardo is seen as the most likely replacement should Red Bull decide to pull the trigger, but AlphaTauri prospect Yuki Tsunoda and McLaren star Lando Norris are also contenders for the seat.

The Mexican driver will likely already be weighing up his options for 2024 with a long-term contract renewal extremely unlikely at this stage. Checo is facing increasing pressure from within the Red Bull hierarchy too.

Chief advisor Marko was extremely critical of Perez’s display at Zandvoort, telling Viaplay: “He was still lucky with the pit stop because he crashed quite hard when entering the pit lane. On top of that, there was another penalty because he was late with the brakes. He was still lucky. Without the red flag, he would not have reached the finish line.”

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