‘Unbalanced’ Red Bull warned of potential 2024 F1 ‘problem’

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez run for cover from Red Bull spray.

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez run for cover from Red Bull spray.

Christijan Albers has warned Red Bull having to rely solely on Max Verstappen next season when their rivals are expected to enter the fray “may not be good for the team”.

Although Red Bull have opted to continue with Sergio Perez as Verstappen’s team-mate for next year’s championship, the decision continues to be questioned by Formula 1 pundits.

Perez had a mixed 2023 campaign as while he did finish runner-up to his team-mate, it was touch-and-go despite the Mexican driver being in by far the fastest car on the grid.

‘Red Bull might find themselves in a tight spot’

His season’s stats were 285 points to Verstappen’s 575, that’s less than half, two wins to the Dutchman’s 19, and nine podiums with the World Champion bagging 21 from 22 races.

Red Bull argued he did the job asked of him as he brought home the team’s first-ever 1-2 in the Drivers’ Championship.

But Albers wonders if stiffer competition next season could trip up Red Bull and their Mexican driver.

“It was going well for Perez at the beginning of the season, when the difference was still about five or six-tenths to Max. Then we saw him just fade away,” the former F1 driver told De Telegraaf’s F1 podcast.

“If Red Bull builds a car that is that good and then you have Perez, it becomes a problem for the team.

“Red Bull might find themselves in a tight spot if they don’t balance their driver equation.”

He added that if Red Bull’s rivals “build a car that is capable of racing them then they’d have to put all their cards on Max, and that may not be good for the team.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

A five-step guide to being the ideal F1 wingman: Lessons from Perez, Bottas, more

F1 2025 driver line-up: Who is already confirmed for the 2025 grid?

The Dutchman hinted Perez’s longevity at Red Bull could have something to do with his Mexican sponsors.

“I quietly think that there is so much money behind Perez from his sponsors. Okay, it’s Red Bull, but it’s still nice if you’re bringing in 40, 50 million,” said Albers.

Perez is sponsored by Telmex, Interproteccion, Infintium, and Claro to name a few.

According to numbers touted, all in all, it could be worth an estimated $33 million.

Read next: Max Verstappen to pay record-breaking fee for FIA super licence renewal