Former F1 driver Martin Brundle, always well-informed about what’s going on in the F1 paddock, delivered a decisive message on Sergio Perez‘s future.
The Mexican driver has struggled for much of the 2023 campaign, leading to many observers expecting him to be replaced at the end of the current campaign. However, Brundle doesn’t necessarily believe that to be the case.
“I stand by what I’ve been saying for the last few races. I think Red Bull absolutely want to continue with Perez next year and they will do everything they can to make that happen,” he told Sky Sports F1.
“There is a contract in place and they don’t want to change it, for various reasons. That’s what they’re pointing to (from inside) at the moment.
“People in the know have told me, categorically, that it’s not about finishing second in the championship. He certainly needs to have solid races, to be clear on where he will be in his own head, going forward.
“At the moment, Perez has the job at Red Bull next year. There’s no doubt about it.”
Could Daniel Ricciardo replace Sergio Perez if Martin Brundle is wrong?
Naomi Schiff, another commentator, is not so sure about what her broadcast partner said with regards to the Mexican.
“It has to be said that, although Max has dominated the season, the competition behind Red Bull has been strong. Now we have McLaren, Mercedes, Ferrari with drivers who are pretty close together, in cars that are competitive,” she added.
“Can Red Bull afford to have a driver who is not scoring points, when next year could be a closer competition?”
Given the likelihood of such close competition, Schiff has suggested that Daniel Ricciardo could be the key to Red Bull maintaining its dominance next season.
“At least, if you look at Red Bull HQ, and the subsidiary team, the talent they have in their squad, he’s the next most likely candidate at the moment,” she continued.
“What he did in Mexico shows that Daniel Ricciardo is back, to a certain extent.
“The time he spent at McLaren was pretty miserable. Everyone, including himself, had doubts. What happened to Daniel Ricciardo? Because he was always a great driver. Moments like this show that, when he has the car, he can perform. Red Bull will see a result like that and think he’s a definite contender.”