Translation: Marko: “Perez must comply now, we must stop this negative spiral”.

Pérez finished tenth at Losail and received up to three penalties for track limits

Marko says the Mexican’s goal should be to finish runner-up in the championship

Sergio Pérez was once again one of the negative surprises of the Qatar Grand Prix. The Mexican’s performance fell short of expectations at Losail and he crossed the line tenth, with up to three penalties for exceeding track limits. Red Bull said that the driver must “comply now” and Helmut Marko reminds that he has no margin for error in his fight for the runner-up position.

If it is true that luck was not on Perez’s side at the Qatar Grand Prix, his performance did not help either. The Mexican driver was eliminated in Q2 during Friday’s qualifying and on Saturday a touch with Esteban Ocon and Nico Hülkenberg left him out of the Sprint race and very hurt for Sunday’s race, as he had to start from the pit lane due to the extensive damage suffered by the RB19.

In the race, the Mexican was able to move up to tenth position, but did not have a clean race, the track limits played a dirty trick on him and he received up to three five-second penalties, which prevented him from progressing further. “There were fast laps, but it doesn’t help if you get a ten-second penalty,” said Helmut Marko, who said he “didn’t even” notice the last track limit penalty, according to Austrian media ORF.

So, Perez leaves Losail with only one point and another weekend to forget. Once again, the opposite side to that of his teammate who won without rival. A gap that so far did not worry Red Bull, as the Constructors’ World Championship is already in their hands. However, Marko argues that, if Pérez’s performance does not improve, the runner-up spot in the championship is in jeopardy. “It wasn’t a problem as long as we didn’t have a consistent chaser, but now it becomes critical with two drivers as strong as the McLarens,” he said.

“I hope we can salvage second place again, because Red Bull has clearly set the runner-up spot as Perez’s target this season,” said the Red Bull advisor.

It is worth noting that Red Bull has never managed to finish first and second in the Drivers’ World Championship. At the moment, and since the start of the season, they occupy those two positions, but Pérez cannot lose sight of Hamilton, who is in the hunt for the runner-up spot. Until now, Perez had been comfortably second, however, the Briton has been gradually closing the gap and leaves Qatar with 30 points, a gap that could have been even smaller had it not been for the Mercedes driver’s retirement.

"For a while it looked pretty easy, but now it’s melting away. “Checo has to deliver now. We have to put an end to this negative spiral,” said Marko.

Perez still has one more year left on his contract at Red Bull, but Marko is quick to state that “a lot can happen” and points to Lawson as a strong candidate for a full-time Formula 1 seat.

“We have three drivers at AlphaTauri. Lawson is a reserve driver for four cars, so a lot can happen in the future. It is a logical consequence that Lawson, sooner or later, will be in Formula 1,” he added in closing.

  • Quinten
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    39 months ago

    Yep… but I do have more faith in Lando then Lawson. Lawson just needs more experience otherwise he indeed ends as Perez, Albon, Kvyat and Gasly.