Pundit ‘amazed’ Red Bull keep Sergio Perez after ‘destructive’ Nyck de Vries approach

Jamie Woodhouse
Unhappy Sergio Perez walks past a Ferrari.

Sergio Perez continues to deal with rumours his F1 days are numbered.

Former F1 driver Christijan Albers is shocked that Sergio Perez has avoided the same Red Bull treatment as Nyck de Vries, but feels the end must be coming.

Just when it seemed as though Perez had overcome his mid-season slump at Red Bull, the Mexican racer is back under the spotlight after a pair of difficult outings in Singapore and Japan, the latter particularly concerning.

While Red Bull’s rare off day in Singapore contributed to Perez’s troubles, he earned few plaudits for his collision with Alex Albon, resulting in a five-second penalty, while he picked up two further five-second penalties in Japan, the second of those for steaming into Haas’ Kevin Magnussen at the hairpin.

Christijan Albers warns Sergio Perez this has to “end somewhere”

Red Bull has maintained that Perez will remain in the cockpit for F1 2024, the final year of his contract, but Albers is surprised that Perez is being given the chance to remain in his seat, considering how De Vries was not so fortunate.

The Formula 2 and Formula E champion was brought in for the start of F1 2023 to partner Yuki Tsunoda at Red Bull’s junior team AlphaTauri, but lasted only 10 rounds before Red Bull decided to axe the Dutchman and replace him with Daniel Ricciardo.

So, considering how “destructive” Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko and team principal Christian Horner were with De Vries, Albers finds it surprising that Perez has avoided getting the hook.

“Even though he can look at Max’s data, he is unable to improve and close the gap,” Albers told De Telegraaf.

“The gap is in fact only increasing. At some point they’ll see ‘it’s impossible to keep justifying this’. The story will have to end somewhere.

“If you see how destructive Horner and Marko were towards De Vries, it actually amazes me that they continue to keep Perez.”

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Perez, who recently admitted that he struggles to adapt to get the best out of the Red Bull machinery as quickly as Verstappen can, now faces a challenge to keep hold of his P2 spot in the Drivers’ Championship.

Red Bull has never achieved a one-two finish before, the bare minimum expected of Perez at the wheel of the RB19 which has claimed 15 of the 16 F1 2023 grand prix wins, but Mercedes’ seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton is closing in.

Heading into the Qatar Grand Prix, where Verstappen is primed to secure his third World Championship title, Hamilton is only 33 points behind Perez.

Read next: Sergio Perez admits where he struggles compared to ‘special’ Max Verstappen