Sergio Perez doesn’t need to worry about his Red Bull seat, but that’s only because Helmut Marko feels right now there’s “no one who could replace him” from Red Bull’s ranks.
Perez failed to make it into Q3 in qualifying for the British Grand Prix with Saturday’s P16 marking his fifth early exit in succession, and his third Q1 failure of the season.
It was a wretched moment for the Mexican driver who headed up the queue after a red flag late in Q1 in the hope of having a free track in which to set a time worthy of progressing.
Helmut Marko declares a ‘weakness’ of Sergio Perez
Instead he sat at the end of the pit lane for almost nine minutes with his tyres getting cold, and then was the first to post a time on a track that was ramping up with every lap.
He blamed the changing conditions for his exit, saying: “The red flag lasted a lot longer than we initially thought, so we ended up waiting a lot longer and that was a bit unfortunate.
“These conditions are where I struggle the most. The changeable conditions are something that we need to get on top of when we are able to do better.”
But whatever the reason, Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko wasn’t impressed.
“He has to get that under control,” declared the 80-year-old to Sky Deutschland.
“If one is in first place and the other in 16th place, then it doesn’t quite fit together. It’s been a weakness in his past. It’s just too common now.”
Marko is expecting better from his driver on Sunday, saying Perez “really needs to improve, because this is not the first time.
“It is an advantage that his races are always quite good. Silverstone is a track where you can overtake quite well and with the DRS advantage of our cars it should be possible for him to score points.”
He, however, stopped short of saying the Mexican driver’s seat is on the line.
“That’s what distinguishes him from Nyck de Vries,” Marko said. “There’s no need for action at the moment…There’s no one who could replace him.”