‘Verstappen family’ theory with Red Bull told to ‘do something’ about Sergio Perez

Michelle Foster
Sergio Perez in the Red Bull garage looking perplexed

Sergio Perez in the Red Bull garage looking perplexed

Red Bull need “do something about Sergio Perez “now”, although Robert Doornbos claims the “Verstappen family” bears some responsibility for the Red Bull driver situation.

Removing themselves from F1’s intense silly season and rumours that Carlos Sainz could once again team up with Max Verstappen, Red Bull handed Perez a new two-year contract in the wake of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Red Bull let Sergio Perez situation ‘fester for so long’

The timing of that has been questioned in the midst of Perez’s latest slump.

Although the new deal was intended to give him peace of mind to focus on the on-track action, Perez has not featured on the podium in the last seven races and at Silverstone on Sunday he was a lacklustre P17 at the line.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner admits it is “unsustainable” for Perez to continue to not bring in the big points as Red Bull face a two-driver challenge from McLaren with Mercedes and Ferrari also in the mix.

It’s left the team relying heavily on Verstappen who, thanks to his P2 at the British Grand Prix, not only extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 84 points but helped Red Bull put a bit more distance between themselves and second-placed Ferrari.

Doornbos believes the team has to take action, and now, with Liam Lawson waiting in the wings.

“Liam Lawson is testing that car, Max and Checo’s, the RB20, on this same circuit. You have to put him in, you have to do something now,” the former F1 driver told Ziggo Sport.

“You have no excuses anymore. The data does not lie.

“It’s a very difficult situation for Red Bull, because they let it fester for too long.”

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‘Verstappen family wanted Sergio Perez in the car’

Doornbos believes Red Bull were too hasty in re-signing Perez, partly because the “Verstappen” camp wanted the Mexican driver in the car.

Perez joined Red Bull in 2021 with Verstappen hailing his team-mate’s efforts in helping him at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Since then, despite a few early-season title dreams, Perez has been a good wingman for the Dutch driver.

“I just feel the pain of that boy [Perez]. He made sure that this was done quickly, also because the Verstappen family wanted that,” he added.

“They wanted Perez to just sign, and get away from all those distractions with Carlos Sainz and everyone who was lurking on that seat.”

Details emerge about Sergio Perez’s contract clause

PlanetF1.com confirmed during the British Grand Prix weekend that Red Bull could effect a mid-season driver change with clauses in both Perez and Daniel Ricciardo’s contracts opening the door for such a move.

Sources close to the situation suggested Ricciardo’s recent upturn in form coupled with Perez’s struggles could mean Red Bull swap the drivers. And if they do that, clauses in Perez’s contract would likely make him a free agent on the driver market for 2025.

The other alleged clause claims Red Bull can replace Perez in the summer break if he is more than 100 points shy of Verstappen after the Belgian Grand Prix.

Today Perez is 137 points down on his team-mate.

According to De Telegraaf, Horner and Perez had extensive conversations prior to the British Grand Prix weekend with the Mexican driver told that he has to perform better to keep his seat.

Read next: British GP conclusions: Lewis Hamilton’s refusal, Perez v Ricciardo answer, McLaren bruised