Sergio Perez warned F1 contracts like ‘toilet paper’ with Red Bull replacement suggested

Jamie Woodhouse
Red Bull driver Sergio Perez looks reflective after the Austrian Grand Prix sprint race. Styria, July 2023.

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez looks reflective after the Austrian Grand Prix sprint race. Styria, July 2023.

Dutch racer Tom Coronel believes that a Red Bull contract until the end of 2024 is far from bulletproof for Sergio Perez, who should be looking over his shoulder for Daniel Ricciardo.

Perez has managed to steady the ship that is his Red Bull career in recent rounds, snapping his string of Q3 absences and making the podium three times across the last four rounds.

That being said, the performance gulf which has developed between he and team-mate Max Verstappen remains alarming, the most recent outing in Belgium serving as a further example as Verstappen went from P6 on the grid to winning with a margin of 22 seconds over Perez who finished P2.

Tom Coronel tips Daniel Ricciardo to return to Red Bull seat

Red Bull have shown already this season that they are not afraid to give a driver who they feel is underperforming the boot, axing Nyck de Vries from the AlphaTauri line-up after 10 rounds and sending their reserve driver Ricciardo to take his spot for the remainder of the season.

Ricciardo has made no secret of his desire to use this as a chance to audition for his “fairytale” final F1 chapter of a Red Bull return. While team boss Christian Horner has confirmed that, he speaks of a battle between Perez and Ricciardo for the seat come 2025.

But, while Perez is contracted at Red Bull until the end of 2024, Coronel is not confident that Perez will see that out, instead believing Ricciardo is being readied to become Verstappen’s team-mate once again. recommends

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“In the whole of Formula 1, a contract is toilet paper,” he told

“The most money is made the moment contracts are dissolved, you’ve seen that before with drivers. ‘Shall we say goodbye now? Okay, so then it will cost 20 million extra’, on top of it. But then you can move on.

“We all know what will happen to Perez. Come on, we know that!

“It’s very clear. Helmut Marko [Red Bull driver programme boss] is just looking for a very strong second driver. Verstappen’s best team-mate ever? That was Ricciardo. So yes, you know, then I see it anyway: that’s what they are looking for. Perez just doesn’t have the consistency. A sub-topper, nothing wrong with that.

“But you are looking for a Ricciardo, who then beat Sebastian Vettel. Is this going to be the new World Champion? Well, with Max next to you you can forget about that, but one thing is for sure: at Red Bull you need a driver who will be at least second or third and that’s where I think Perez is still too often overshooting himself, let’s put it nicely…”

Ricciardo’s immediate target after Formula 1’s summer break will be to get points on the board, with the struggling AlphaTauri team P10 and last in the Constructors’ standings with only three points scored.

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