Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB20 during the British GP at Silverstone Circuit on Friday July 05, 2024 in Northamptonshire, United Kingdom. (Photo by Zak Mauger / LAT Images)

Formula 1 Rumor: Red Bull eyes replacing struggling Perez (Update)

Sergio Perez may also become a late contender on the driver market, despite his recently extended Red Bull deal – which could now be terminated due to a critical and looming performance clause factor.

Red Bull looks set to open up a place at the junior team RB for Liam Lawson, resulting in Daniel Ricciardo either making the step-up to Red Bull Racing or losing his spot in Formula 1 altogether.

Christian Horner is not even ruling out a step-up for Yuki Tsunoda, as he clarified that the Japanese does not have a specific contract with RB but rather with Red Bull Racing.

“He’s a Red Bull driver with a contract with Red Bull,” Horner told the Dutch publication Formule 1.

Caught on camera shaking his head after Perez beached his car on Saturday in Q1 qualifying at Silverstone, Red Bull boss Christian Horner says that wasn’t so much about Perez as Red Bull’s struggles to perform “collectively” in qualifying.

“Of course, it is frustration when both of your cars aren’t performing you know collectively,” he told the media at Silverstone.

Oracle Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner attends the Team Principals Press Conference during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 07, 2024 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Oracle Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“It was frustrating to lose Checo in Q1. He missed P1 because of Isack Hadjar driving, he had a decent P2. We felt that he should have been around the top six and then to lose the car in Q1 was very frustrating. That’s where we’re at.”

Another outside shot to replace Perez is Lawson himself, as he prepares to test the 2024 Red Bull Racing car at Silverstone on Thursday for a ‘filming day’.

“I’ll actually be driving the (2012) RB8 at Silverstone on Thursday too,” team boss Horner laughed, “so you never know.

“In all seriousness, Liam’s aero test has been planned for a couple of months.”

Lawson will get restricted running in the 2024 Red Bull on Thursday at Silverstone as it is a promotional event – often referred to in F1 as a filming day.

Though such events are technically defined as “purely for marketing or promotional purposes” they are often used for teams to evaluate different things. Early in the year, for example, they are used to shake down new cars.

In this case, Red Bull says it is an “aero test” for Lawson that has been planned for a long time.

It is restricted to just 120 miles of running (34 laps around Silverstone), using Pirelli’s ‘Academy’ tires – a standard and harder spec tire.

And as lots of information about the test must be provided to the FIA and all rival teams in advance – observers from these parties are also allowed to attend if they want.


July 7, 2024 

(GMM) “Tremendous pressure” is mounting on Sergio Perez to immediately up his game, as rumors gain strength that Red Bull could terminate his newly-signed 2025 contract.

Just when he needed to end a post-contract slump, the Mexican driver spun out of a slippery Q1 at Silverstone.

His job is on the line – 19th placed qualifier Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing looks on from the FIA garage during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone Circuit on July 06, 2024 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“He spins off like an amateur,” former Red Bull driver Robert Doornbos told Ziggo Sport.

The major error came amid swirling new rumors that Daniel Ricciardo could soon replace Perez. And not just that, it now emerges that Red Bull reserve Liam Lawson will do a ‘filming day’ in Perez’s car next week at Silverstone.

“Lawson is in that car next week on this same circuit,” Doornbos added. “You have to feel Checo’s pain at the moment.”

When asked about Perez’s qualifying error, Red Bull F1 consultant Dr Helmut Marko said: “You can use the excuse that he was the first on the slick tires. The car is unpredictable.

“But it certainly doesn’t help him get out of the crisis.”

Related ArticleF1 News: Perez must ‘prove himself’ in F1 triple-header – Marko

Doornbos thinks Red Bull was put under pressure to re-sign Perez to appease Max Verstappen and his father Jos, but former F1 driver Christijan Albers thinks it was an “absolutely insane” move.

“You don’t sign someone at the worst moment of their career for a reason like that,” Albers said. “I think he’s out of excuses.

“Everyone falls off the track now and then – even Max. But the lap times have to be there. And they are not.”

DAZN commentator Antonio Lobato says he has heard rumors that Silverstone was one of just a few races that is part of an “ultimatum” for Perez to improve.

“He’s scored 10 points in the last five races or something,” he said. “They can see the constructors’ championship slipping away and need to take a decision, especially if the trend doesn’t change.

“Perez is under tremendous pressure now. Ricciardo could have a chance if Checo does not deliver in the next three grands prix,” Lobato added.

Marko admits that Perez is currently not fulfilling his role at Red Bull Racing.

“All the bonuses that are paid to the employees depend on the placing in the constructors’ championship,” he told DPA news agency. “Checo is under pressure. You can see that in all his gestures at the moment.

“Since he got the new contract, there have been a few not-so-good races,” Marko added. “Of course it’s designed for performance and no one is exempt from that.”

When asked about rumors that he could replace Perez, Ricciardo insisted that he never tries to make “predictions” when it comes to Red Bull and Formula 1.

Former F1 driver Giedo van der Garde thinks Ricciardo would have, at least, not spun at the wheel of Perez’s Red Bull on Saturday.

“Ricciardo almost did the same thing, he knows it’s slippery, and drove straight on,” he told Viaplay. “I mean, it’s your out-lap on slicks on a damp track – it simply shouldn’t happen to an experienced driver.”

Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing contemplates his future ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone Circuit on July 05, 2024 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
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