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Marko tells Perez to prove himself in next three races

Marko tells Perez to prove himself in next three races
© Reuters
Despite securing a new contract recently, Sergio Perez's position at Red Bull remains on shaky ground.

Despite securing a new contract recently, Sergio Perez's position at Red Bull remains on shaky ground.

Originally, it was presumed that his freshly inked agreement, secured during a period of declining performance, provided him two years of security.

However, Dr. Helmut Marko disclosed that the contract includes "certain clauses," and Christian Horner referred to it as a one-plus-one arrangement, suggesting that Perez's continuation with Red Bull post-2025 is not guaranteed.

Marko expressed to Osterreich newspaper that the mid-season contract renewal aimed to stabilize the team and boost Perez's confidence and performance—a goal that has yet to be realized.

"We extended his contract because we wanted to bring calm to our team," the 81-year-old stated, "which unfortunately didn't quite work out. But now Checo has three races ahead of him on three real race tracks to prove himself."

This places significant pressure on the 34-year-old, particularly as Marko recently admitted that McLaren's duo, Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, appears more formidable than Red Bull's lineup.

"Well, that's the way it is," Marko now acknowledges.

"They (Norris and Piastri) are young and are always very close together, especially in qualifying. And both will improve, especially Piastri."

Amid speculative talks of a surprising switch to Mercedes for Max Verstappen, there's a whisper of a potential seat exchange involving Toto Wolff's 17-year-old protégé Kimi Antonelli.

"Antonelli is an absolute Mercedes man," Marko asserts, "so we don't need to think about that."

Speculations also suggest Verstappen might join forces with Antonelli at Mercedes starting in 2026, which could jeopardize George Russell's position in F1.

"That is still so far away," said Marko. "Let's concentrate on the next races and see if we can win the world championship again. Our biggest advantage is that the other teams are taking points away from each other, and I hope it continues like that."

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner pictured on March 8, 2024
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