Red Bull Undecided on Sergio Perez Extension Despite Admitting to Positive Change: “It’s Too Early”

Red Bull Undecided on Sergio Perez Extension Despite Admitting to Positive Change: “It’s Too Early”
Credits: IMAGO Marco Canoniero

Sergio Perez has been extremely consistent with his performances in the 2024 season. Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko also admitted that the 34-year-old seems to have improved significantly. However, the Austrian made it clear that it is still “too early” for Red Bull to grant the Mexican a contract extension beyond the 2024 campaign.

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Normally, we don’t talk about driver decisions at all in April, but somehow it seems to have accelerated a lot this year”, said the 80-year-old to Sky Sports as per F1 Maximaal. “But it’s still too early for us. We will certainly wait a while before we make a decision,” he then added.

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Since the Japanese GP is only the fourth race on this year’s 24-race calendar, Red Bull may want to observe Perez’s performances over a few more races before they make a decision about whether they want to grant the Mexican an extension or not. After praising Perez for his recent performances, Marko, in the same interview, also explained why he believes that the 34-year-old has improved recently.

“He no longer tries to follow his own technical path,” said Marko. Perez himself has admitted that since he has “stopped inventing,” by trying different things, he has been able to improve his performances.

The Mexican has so far registered two second-place finishes (Bahrain and Saudi Arabia) and a fifth-place finish (Australia). As a result, he finds himself third in the championship, only five points behind Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen, who won the opening two races and then suffered a DNF in Australia.

How did Sergio Perez fare against Max Verstappen in Japan?

For the first time this season at Suzuka, Sergio Perez came agonizingly close to matching Max Verstappen during qualifying. Although the Mexican failed to clinch pole from his teammate, his lap time was just 0.066 seconds slower during Q3.

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Verstappen’s pole and Perez’s P2 means Red Bull have locked out the front row for the first time this season. This sort of performance was much needed for the Milton Keynes-based outfit, who failed to deliver in Australia two weekends ago.

When it comes to Perez specifically, his recent performances will do Daniel Ricciardo or Yuki Tsunoda no favors. Both Ricciardo and Tsunoda have made it clear that they are keen to secure that second Red Bull seat.

However, with Perez performing the way he is, Red Bull may have no reason to part ways with him. Meanwhile, Max Verstappen is expected to stay at the team in 2025 as he has a contract till 2028.

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