Only yesterday, we reported on a Sergio Perez interview where he explained that staying with Red Bull is only an option if there’s an environment where he can “contribute.” Within twenty-four hours, Helmut Marko explains that Lando Norris would be his preferred teammate for Verstappen.
As mentioned yesterday, Perez is under constant scrutiny at Red Bull – owing to his struggles in the RB19.
The Mexican driver’s failure to challenge Max Verstappen has incentivised Helmut Marko to evaluate potential alternatives at AlphaTauri.
Marko has made a variety of critical statements about Perez, although their often contradictory nature makes them difficult to follow.
However, speaking with ServusTV, the Austrian was very direct about his assessment of the 33-year-old.
“Perez is not consistent; he is not always focused.
“Perez has a contract until 2024, and Norris has a contract until 2025. Unfortunately, it’s that long,” Gpblog quotes him as saying.
“He [Norris] is definitely a candidate for us. At Toro Rosso, we had already reached an agreement with him at the time until his manager realised there was an option for a McLaren contract.
“In terms of youth and speed, he would suit us very well. Sergio, on the other hand, is already over 30 and is expecting his fourth child.
“So he also has other interests, so you have to see what happens next.”
Christian Horner often tries to diffuse the speculation concerning Red Bull, stressing that Perez is locked in for 2024.
However, it is clear that Helmut Marko is unconvinced about Perez’s credentials – at least in the long term.
Liam Lawson and Yuki Tsunoda are two promising talents at AlphaTauri, whilst the experienced (albeit injured) Daniel Ricciardo was impressive in his brief comeback.
It remains perfectly feasible that Red Bull could continue with an unchanged lineup next season. However, there is an equally plausible chance that another twist lies ahead in the F1 driver market.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang