Helmut Marko says Sergio Perez has F1 “form fluctuations” because of where he’s from

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Photo credit: Oracle Red Bull Racing

Recent remarks by Dr. Helmut Marko have rekindled the rumours regarding Red Bull Racing’s second seat, as the Austrian suggested Sergio Pérez wasn’t certain of his drive for 2024. Add to that the return of Daniel Ricciardo to AlphaTauri and it becomes clear why there is a lot of speculation around the current constructor world champions.

Perez himself has added some fuel to the fire by suggesting that he might be looking outside Milton Keynes for 2025 and beyond.

“Every year you learn new things and that’s why I like this sport so much,” he explained. “You are learning things all the time. I think the most important thing is to learn from your mistakes.

“With the season we have had, it is important to hold the next races in an environment where I feel I can contribute. And [if] that place for 2025 is not here, we will have to look for other alternatives.

“But right now, my main focus is to be here, to win more races, to keep winning championships with Red Bull. I have a contract until next year and at some point next year we will sit down and talk.”

In addition to his own conviction that he will be racing in 2024, he is backed up by team boss Christian Horner, who stated that “Checo’s situation for next year is clear. He’s a Red Bull Racing driver. We have an agreement with him.”

He adds some compliments for the Mexican driver as well, saying that Red Bull is “pleased with the job that he’s doing.

“He’s second in the world championship, he’s the only driver rather than Max to have won Grands Prix this year.

“Being [Verstappen’s] team-mate is probably in some respects the most unenviable job to have because the barometer is so high. You’ve got to look at the performance on the timesheet and the results sheet.

“If Max hadn’t been there, Checo would have won another four or five races. So, he’s doing his job. He’s second in the world championship.

“And hopefully he can add to his wins before the end of the year.”

Talking to Servus TV in Austria, Helmut Marko has also re-affirmed that Pérez will be a Red Bull driver next year, stating that “at Red Bull we have contracts agreed until the end of 2024.”

The 1971 Le Mans winner also added he was satisfied with Checo’s performance in last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

“It was certainly one of his better weekends. We know he has problems in qualifying, he has form fluctuations, he is South American [Mexico is in fact in North America],” he added, hinting that Pérez his Hispanic temperament might be the cause of the inconsistent performances.

“And he’s not as completely focused in his head as Max or Sebastian were, for example.“But his races are good for the most part and yesterday was a very, very good race. He did absolutely everything right there.”