Ross Brawn calls on Red Bull to make ruthless driver move in next few weeks

Oliver Harden
Ross Brawn

Former F1 managing director Ross Brawn speaking to the media in 2022.

Ross Brawn, F1’s former managing director of motorsports, has urged Red Bull to drop Sergio Perez for “someone more competitive” at the end of the 2023 season. 

Having won two of the opening four races in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan, Perez has seen his Red Bull seat come under severe scrutiny following a dramatic mid-season implosion.

Perez failed to reach Q3 for five successive rounds between Monaco and Silverstone and has retired from two of the last five races in Japan and Mexico.

Ross Brawn joins calls for Red Bull to replace Sergio Perez

He has just won five of his 64 races for Red Bull since the start of 2021, with team-mate and newly crowned three-time World Champion Max Verstappen claiming 42 victories in the same period.

Brawn – who played an integral role in Michael Schumacher’s F1 success before laying the foundations for Mercedes’ dominance at the start of the V6 hybrid era – is confident that the gap between Red Bull and the chasing pack, currently led by McLaren, will close over the winter.

And has called for Red Bull to drop Perez for a driver more likely to challenge Verstappen, citing the dynamic between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at Mercedes between 2014 and 2016 as evidence that F1 can be exciting even when one team is dominating.

He told talkSPORT radio: “Even though [Red Bull] have this domination at the moment, you will see it [close up] in time.

“And we’re seeing little indications. McLaren, with [Lando] Norris and occasionally [Oscar] Piastri, they’re knocking at the door, keeping them honest, let’s put it that way.

“I think over this winter, I’m optimistic that there will be a reset. When you’re at the front, you have the advantage of being able to start the design of your new car earlier and that’s when that domination can sometimes run for several years.

“What I want to see quite frankly is someone more competitive in the other car because unfortunately, Sergio’s not putting up much competition for Max.

“And even when you get a dominant car, if you can get someone in the other car who’s giving them a hard time [it can be exciting].

“We think of Rosberg and Hamilton, that was a great year and a year when Mercedes were dominating.”

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Brawn left his role with F1 at the end of 2022 after almost six years, having joined shortly after Liberty Media’s takeover of the sport in 2017.

The 68-year-old was behind F1’s switch to ground effect cars last year in a move aimed at improving the racing spectacle and played an instrumental role in new initiatives such as the cost cap.

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