Helmut Marko highlights key sticking point if Red Bull want to axe Sergio Perez

Sam Cooper
Red Bull driver Sergio Perez holds a towel to his face under the lights in Qatar.

Sergio Perez holds a towel to his face.

Helmut Marko has said it is a “lack of alternatives” that makes it hard for Red Bull to get rid of Sergio Perez.

Perez has been underperforming this season in comparison to World Champion Max Verstappen and it appears Red Bull’s patience is wearing thin.

Christian Horner said Perez had a “shocking race” in Qatar while there are frequent rumours that the team may be looking for an early end to the relationship.

Helmut Marko says Red Bull have no candidates to replace Sergio Perez

The main sticking point to that though, according to Marko, is a lack of available alternatives.

“I may be repeating myself,” he told SPORT1, “but Perez has a contract that we want to respect. We are doing everything to get him back on track.

“We lack the alternatives. Otherwise he would possibly have a problem.”

As for who can keep up with Verstappen, Marko said there was only one candidate.

“At the moment I only see one who could come close to keeping up with Max: Fernando Alonso.”

But with Alonso at 42 years of age, he is unlikely to be an actual possibility for Red Bull to consider.

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Another German outlet, Auto Motor und Sport, claims Red Bull have settled on a replacement – Daniel Ricciardo.

According to them, the possibility cannot be ruled out that Perez will choose to walk away, with Red Bull already decided on Ricciardo as his replacement.

A rumour emerged this week that Perez had told friends and sponsors that he was going to retire at the end of this year although that was later publicly denied by his PR team.

Perez’s Red Bull future does appear to rely on his ability to secure P2 in the championship with the Mexican failing to do that last season. He currently leads Lewis Hamilton by 30 points but it is the Mercedes driver who has been in better form of late.

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