Sergio Perez’s recent subpar performances have resulted in a narrowing of the points gap between him, Lewis Hamilton, and Fernando Alonso. Despite securing two victories since the beginning of the season, the 33-year-old racer has struggled to maintain his momentum.
In contrast, Max Verstappen’s exceptional performance has established a significant lead that seems insurmountable for other drivers. Red Bull’s dominance has been so pronounced that they could potentially secure the constructor’s championship in 2023 even if they were to ease off their competitive drive.
However, the substantial 80-point difference between Perez and Verstappen is not the sole factor contributing to speculation about a potential replacement. Perez’s recent errors, coupled with Red Bull’s history of making swift changes when necessary, have raised questions about his future with the team.
Daniel Ricciardo, who has expressed his desire to return to Formula 1, has hinted that Red Bull would be an ideal team for him to conclude his career with. Despite this, Red Bull’s driver development program head, Helmut Marko, and team principal Christian Horner have dismissed the possibility of replacing Perez. However, their statements suggest that certain conditions may apply.
Adding to the intrigue, Red Bull is set to evaluate Ricciardo through a series of tests during the summer. While this evaluation does not guarantee Ricciardo’s Formula 1 comeback, it adds an interesting dimension to the situation.
Speaking specifically about the possibility of a Sergio Perez replacement, Marko has hinted that there could be a driver replacement.“After Silverstone, we will have Ricciardo in the car for three days at a Pirelli tyres test.
“And there we can evaluate: Where really (in terms of pace) is Ricciardo?”
“His initial goal was two or three years. That would be more than he planned anyway.
You just have to keep the options open for the successor.”
Although Perez’s current position seems secure, Red Bull may be considering the option of having a potential replacement on standby should his performance continue to decline.
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