Red Bull advisor and driver programme boss Helmut Marko has shut down the suggestion that Sergio Perez has a pay cut option in his contract relating to how many points he falls behind team-mate Max Verstappen.
With Perez’s title challenge which he had spoken of earlier in the season having long since crumbled, his sole focus now is on ensuring that he finishes P2 in the Drivers’ Championship behind runaway leader Verstappen to give Red Bull their first one-two result in the standings.
Considering the all-conquering dominance of Red Bull’s RB19 challenger, which has won all 12 grands prix so far in F1 2023, that would be the very minimum expected of Perez.
Helmut Marko rubbishes Sergio Perez Red Bull pay cut talk
But, with Perez now 125 points behind Verstappen in the standings, a report from De Telegraaf had claimed that this deficit now activates a clause in Perez’s contract which allows Red Bull to slash his multi-million dollar salary.
Marko though has made it clear that no such option exists.
“I don’t know where this is coming from again,” Marko told F1-Insider.com. “It’s completely made up out of thin air.
“The contracts are precisely regulated. There will be no salary cuts.
“I can only say it again and again: we are leading the Drivers’ Championship with both drivers and are clearly ahead in the team ranking.”
With Verstappen now on a run of eight consecutive victories, his overall tally for the season standing at 10, Marko stressed that there is no driver around right now who could get the better of Verstappen in the RB19.
Red Bull therefore do not need to consider taking any measures against Perez for his performances, Marko also reiterating that the Mexican racer is contracted to the team until the end of 2024, with rumours continuing to swirl that Daniel Ricciardo will take his seat for the F1 2024 campaign.
“As for Perez: He was in a bit of a crisis, but has turned the corner again in the last two races,” Marko continued. “Verstappen can’t be beaten at the moment. Neither by Perez, nor by any other driver.
“Max is driving in a league of his own. There is therefore no reason to think about measures concerning Perez. May I remind you that he still has a contract with Red Bull Racing in 2024.”
Perez’s task will not get any easier after the summer break, with Verstappen’s home race, the Dutch Grand Prix at Circuit Zandvoort, serving as the first outing once the campaign resumes.