Sergio Perez given contract warning as he fights for Red Bull future

Jamie Woodhouse
Sergio Perez walks through the Qatar GP paddock

Sergio Perez: Under immense pressure at Red Bull.

While Sergio Perez has a Red Bull contract for F1 2024, ex-F1 racer Jan Lammers warns they “fall apart” when the performance is not there, as is the case for Perez now.

The 2023 campaign started very much on a high note for Perez, who after taking two grand prix wins in the opening four rounds, was speaking of mounting a title challenge against team-mate Max Verstappen who accounted for the other two.

However, the wheels very much have fallen off for Perez from there.

Sergio Perez warned over security of Red Bull future

As Perez hit an alarming slump in form, Verstappen raced away to crown himself a three-time World Champion after a P2 finish in the Qatar sprint, Perez by this time in freefall once more as his mini-recovery stalled.

Red Bull principal Christian Horner has consistently batted away rumours that Perez could leave the team before the expiry of his contract after F1 2024, but Lammers says a contract does not offer great security when a driver is not delivering.

“Where there is no performance, contracts fall apart,” Lammers told RacingNews365.com.

“Perez has to perform well, otherwise his seat will come under pressure. That’s more than justified.”

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The question is, should Red Bull choose to move on from Perez, who could be trusted to do a better job alongside Verstappen?

Perez has, just like Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly before him, faced serious scrutiny over his performance levels up against the Dutchman.

Daniel Ricciardo, who left Red Bull by choice at the end of 2018, could be the prime contender to take Perez’s spot now that he is back in the Red Bull fold, but Ricciardo’s stand-in at junior team AlphaTauri, Liam Lawson, has also put himself on the radar.

Drafted in after Ricciardo broke his hand in a Dutch GP practice crash, Lawson impressed across his five-race stint, which included a points-scoring drive to P9 in Singapore.

But, with the New Zealander now settling back into a test and reserve role, could Red Bull face losing him to a rival after that head-turning stint? Williams have the final potential seat available for F1 2024 should Logan Sargeant fail to improve.

Lammers is confident though that Red Bull will have Lawson locked down under “watertight” terms.

“His situation all depends on how he is under contract,” said Lammers. “I assume Red Bull signed him watertight.

“If that is not already the case, then Red Bull should be able to do so.

“Red Bull has all the means to keep their pupils safe.”

Ricciardo returns to action for AlphaTauri at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, where Verstappen will be looking to equal his record from last season by scoring a 15th F1 2023 victory.

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