Sergio Perez has been warned by Robert Doornbos that he’s got “one more chance” to extend his Red Bull career, but that he’ll need to be “more consistent” to do that.
Joining Red Bull in 2021, it was said at the time that the Mexican driver was there to be Max Verstappen’s supporting act.
But as he watched his team-mate win back-to-back World titles, Perez lined up on this season’s grid with lofty ambitions as he dreamt of taking on Verstappen for the World title.
Sergio Perez was ‘lucky’ his rivals dropped points
Alas, the dream that shone so bright after five races lost its spark with a wretched qualifying run that meant by the time Formula 1 headed into its summer break, Perez was all but mathematically out of the running.
He did salvage his season, and his career, with a runner-up result in the Drivers’ standings with Red Bull adamant he will be in the car next season.
But with less than half of Verstappen’s points, Perez is already been warned not to get too comfortable in the RB20.
“What needs to be done in the winter months is how to prevent another season like this,” Doornbos told Motorsport.com.
“Because the luck that Perez had this year is that the competition dropped points.
“If [Lewis] Hamilton had had a better season or perhaps [Charles] Leclerc, he probably wouldn’t have finished second in the championship and then you end up third or fourth.
“Now he could have a bad season and still come second in the World Championship.
With Perez having made it known he’d like 2024 not to be his final season with Red Bull, the 33-year-old convinced he still has a few more years in him, Doornbos has warned him it is the final opportunity to prove himself.
“New year, new round. You get one more chance, but you have to be more consistent. You have to be more constant,” he said.
“If Max wins everything, then you [Perez] be at least third. They already know that he will not be second by default. And whether they will even get another year like this remains to be seen.”
Last year Red Bull signed Perez to a two-year contract for 2023/24 but for 2025 he already has Daniel Ricciardo knocking on that door with Lando Norris also tipped to be a future Red Bull driver.