Helmut Marko to accentuate Sergio Perez exit talks after changing stance on Verstappen-Ricciardo partnership

Red Bull technical advisor Helmut Marko has added fuel to rumours that the team will soon dispense with driver Sergio Perez as the Mexican’s fortunes have continued to dwindle after a bright start to the season.

Marko has shown little patience when it comes to ineptitude from Red Bull drivers over the years and the Austrian has suggested that the team is making contingency plans to “find a successor” for Perez, who joined the team in 2021.

Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen. Credit: planetf1.com
Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen. Credit: planetf1.com

In conversation with ORF Sport, Marko discussed his team’s plans over Perez’s seat and why they are looking to keep their options open.

“His initial goal was to stay for two or three years, that would be more than he planned, so we just have to keep the options open to decide who will be his successor,” Marko said.

While the door had earlier all but been shut for Red Bull reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo to make a dramatic comeback to the team in a full-time role, Marko seems to have now pushed it ajar for the Australian.

The Honey Badger was part of the Red Bull line-up for four years, between 2014 and 2018, and also has the experience of lining up alongside Max Verstappen.

His decision to leave Red Bull has not worked out quite as per plan and having had his contract at McLaren terminated due to poor performances, Ricciardo is once again in the Red Bull camp, this time as a reserve.

(L to R) Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo. Credit: skysports.com
(L to R) Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo. Credit: skysports.com

Ricciardo has made it clear that he is keen on a full-time role, though, and that chance may be afforded to him at Red Bull, with the team keen to judge his progress during tyre testing at Silverstone.

“We will have Daniel Ricciardo in the car for three days after Silverstone at the Pirelli tyre tests, there we will assess his level and where he is really at,” Marko said.

Read more: How Red Bull staff member is blocking possibility of Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen partnership

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