Formula 1: Could Sergio Perez be on his way out at Red Bull?

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Formula 1 (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)
Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Formula 1 (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images) /

As his future with Red Bull seems uncertain, could Sergio Perez find himself in a different garage for the 2024 Formula 1 season?

Rumors are heating up pertaining to Sergio Perez’s potential departure from Red Bull upon the conclusion of the current Formula 1 season. As of now, it is just a possibility, but certain events have occurred pointing to his potential exit.

There has been an increase in tension between Perez and Max Verstappen, and it is being viewed with high importance due to the fact that the Dutchman is the face of Red Bull. What happened in Monaco and Sao Paulo last season will have people thinking the two drivers are unable to co-exist.

In Monaco, Perez crashed coming out of a turn and proceeded to be hit by Carlos Sainz Jr. Because of the ensuing red flag, Verstappen was unable to finish his final qualifying lap and ended up starting fourth on the grid for the race.

Many claim that Perez crashed purposely to prevent Verstappen from starting higher on the grid. These rumors really started to heat up after the Mexican won the Monaco Grand Prix with his teammate finishing in third place. Verstappen was seemingly upset with how things played out and refused to comment specifically on the matter.

So what happened when Max Verstappen took revenge?

Verstappen came into the Sao Paulo Grand Prix having already won his second Formula 1 world championship just weeks prior. Perez was in a fight for second place with Charles Leclerc. During the final few corners, Red Bull ordered Verstappen to give up sixth to his teammate in aid of his ongoing battle. However, the Dutch driver refused to comply and took sixth for himself.

Upon the race’s conclusion, both drivers had words regarding the incident.

“I gave my reasons, and I stand by it,” Verstappen told his team after not giving up his position to his teammate.

He kept hinting at a previous incident, which many believe to be what happened during qualifying in Monaco.

Perez took a hit at Verstappen’s character, saying “it shows who he really is.”

There is a potential that these issues could occur again during the 2023 season. If anything, it would be Perez who is cut off, as Red Bull would prefer to keep Verstappen happy.

What else plays into his future?

Perez was rewarded with a two-year extension right after winning the Monaco Grand Prix, and team principal Christian Horner expects results and consistency from the Mexican, as the team’s standards are set quite high. If Horner is not satisfied, Red Bull could look to poach a younger driver from a different team.

Additionally, Perez’s ambitions could heighten, given that he is at the backend of his career. If he feels discontent or devalued as Red Bull’s number two driver, then he could look to take his talents elsewhere.

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A number of factors will play into Perez’s future. At this moment, his focus will be on achieving another 1-2 finish for the team in Jeddah. Don’t miss Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which is set to be broadcast live on ESPN from Jeddah Corniche Circuit beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET. Start a free trial of FuboTV if you haven’t already!