Helmut Marko details Red Bull ‘worst case’ scenario after $3million Sergio Perez Monaco shunt

Jamie Woodhouse
Sergio Perez next to his stricken Red Bull in Monaco.

Sergio Perez was punted out of the Monaco Grand Prix after just one corner on Sunday.

Red Bull senior advisor Helmut Marko is keeping an extra close watch on rivals Ferrari and McLaren, as the “worst case” scenario after Sergio Perez’s Monaco shunt could see them “handicapped” in the F1 2024 development war.

Perez was left with major work to do around the streets of Monte Carlo after a shock Q1 elimination, though his race did not go beyond the first lap after he tangled with the Haas of Kevin Magnussen up the hill out of Sainte Devote, leading to a huge crash which Perez thankfully walked away from unscathed.

Has Sergio Perez handed the advantage to Red Bull rivals?

Additional reporting by Sam Cooper

Bouncing between the barriers, only the survival cell remained on Perez’s RB20, with Magnussen and his Haas team-mate Nico Hulkenberg also eliminated in the shunt which was deemed a racing incident by the stewards, with no punishment therefore handed out.

Red Bull though were left to count the costs of that collision, which Marko, speaking to Motorsport-Magazin.com, placed between $2.5m and $3m, as Red Bull assess the extent of any damage to the gearbox and power unit.

And with Formula 1 in the cost cap era, the budget limit set at $135m for F1 2024, Marko said this “clearly affects” Red Bull when it comes to longer term upgrades and parts production, with Ferrari and McLaren holding the key on how strained Red Bull’s resources could become.

Both teams have closed the gap to Red Bull with recent upgrade packages, McLaren’s Lando Norris taking the win in Miami and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc winning the Monaco Grand Prix, so if Red Bull need to prepare an additional response to these teams in the F1 2024 development war, then Marko says they are “handicapped” in that process.

“That clearly affects us, because there are considerations about what to do with the car,” said Marko on the Perez crash bill. “Three million is then missing for our considerations.

“In the worst case, this means that we can do less development.

“If we have to do something extra due to the greater competitiveness of Ferrari and McLaren, we are obviously handicapped.”

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What Ferrari and McLaren do from here is not something which Red Bull can control, but on their side, Marko stressed that another incident will have major implications.

“If there is another crash, not everything will be there for both cars,” he warned.

Without a podium since the Chinese Grand Prix, Perez has slipped to P5 in the Drivers’ Championship, while Ferrari has closed the gap to Red Bull at the top of the Constructors’ Championship to 24 points.

That led Red Bull team principal Christian Horner to admit that they need Perez battling at the sharp end alongside Max Verstappen in the face of this sterner competition.

“This weekend’s been pretty brutal for him,” said Horner when asked by media including PlanetF1.com how much of a concern Perez’s Monaco performance is.

“And yeah, I mean, obviously, we need to make sure that we’ve got both cars up there scoring points, because we cannot dismiss the threat of Ferrari and McLaren in both championships.”

The Canadian Grand Prix is next up, where Verstappen will be chasing his third victory in a row at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

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