Red Bull crank up Sergio Perez pressure as Max Verstappen makes demands – F1 news round-up

Jamie Woodhouse
Red Bull driver Sergio Perez faces questions from the media at the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez faces questions from the media.

Catch-up with the key headlines from another busy day in the world of Formula 1 as the fallout from the Qatar Grand Prix rolls on.

After another “shocker” for Sergio Perez, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has warned of three drivers waiting in the wings, while Max Verstappen took aim at the conditions and mandated three-stopper in Qatar.

All this and more, so let us dive right into the action…

Helmut Marko increases pressure on Sergio Perez

For the second race weekend in a row, Perez suffered what Red Bull team boss Christian Horner described as a “shocker”.

Perez is under contract until the end of F1 2024, but while Marko says Red Bull want to honour that, Daniel Ricciardo, Yuki Tsunoda and Liam Lawson are waiting to pounce if Perez’s position was to become untenable.

“In general we want to implement the contractual situation, which lasts until 2024. And that’s entirely up to him now,” Marko told ORF.

“But then we have three relatively good drivers in AlphaTauri.”

Read more: Helmut Marko fires another Sergio Perez shot with ‘three drivers’ waiting in line

Max Verstappen makes two fresh F1 demands

While the Pirelli tyres were of great concern in Qatar, it was the drivers who felt the heat on Grand Prix Sunday, with several of them requiring trips to the medical centre due to the stifling conditions.

Verstappen then believes it was “silly” to go racing in that heat, and wants Formula 1 to reconsider the timing of the Qatar Grand Prix, which will happen as it shifts back two months for 2024, while he also felt the mandated three-stopper, due to micro tears being found in the compounds, can also not stick around.

“When it’s 40 degrees out there during the day I think it’s silly to to be pushing like this, especially with forced three-stops,” he told Sky Sports.

“It’s almost like a qualifying out there all the time, like really pushing flat out. And that’s probably a bit extreme out there.”

Read more: Max Verstappen makes two new F1 demands after ‘silly’ Qatar Grand Prix

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FIA announce steps to stop repeat

The events of Sunday in Qatar have not been lost on the FIA, who announced that steps will be taken to ensure no repeat of these extreme racing conditions.

The FIA confirmed an upcoming meeting in Paris to discuss the potential actions, which could include “guidance for competitors, research into modifications for more efficient airflow in the cockpit, and recommendations for changes to the calendar to align with acceptable climatic conditions”.

Read more: ‘Concerned’ FIA respond to Qatar GP that ‘jeopardised’ driver safety

Audi respond to F1 withdrawal rumours

Looking more long-term in Formula 1, specifically F1 2026, talk had begun to bubble up that a new player from that season could be reconsidering their entry.

The team in question is Audi, who are set to partner with Sauber to create an Audi works team, running their newly-developed F1 power unit, and the German brand insist this will still be the case.

“The schedule of Audi Formula Racing GmbH for the build-up of the organisation and the development of the 2026 F1 Power Unit at the site in Neuburg/Germany remains unchanged,” an Audi spokesperson told PlanetF1.com.

Read more: Audi respond to rumours of shock decision over F1 2026 entry

FIA intervention needed to make Max Verstappen F1 great?

Red Bull boss Horner has declared that three-time World Champion Verstappen must now be considered an all-time F1 great, a claim which few disagree with.

However, 2015 Le Mans class winner Richard Bradley believes that only when the Red Bull dominance ends, will we find out how good Max Verstappen actually is.

“Red Bull won’t always have the best car, and then we’re going to really see how good Max Verstappen is,” said Bradley on the On Track GP podcast.

Read more: Doubts over Max Verstappen greatness claim with FIA intervention needed first

Read next – Examined: F1’s lucky escape with Qatar Grand Prix a clear step too far