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Sergio Perez ‘under threat’ at Red Bull with young star tipped to replace him

Perez has won two races this season but has struggled to match Max Verstappen’s high levels of performance in recent weeks

Kieran Jackson
Formula 1 Correspondent
Thursday 15 June 2023 17:10 BST
Interview with Red Bull's Sergio Perez

Johnny Herbert believes Sergio Perez’s seat at Red Bull could be ‘under threat’ after a couple of poor performances – and has backed Lando Norris to replace him.

After winning two of the opening four races, in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan, Perez has struggled in comparison to runaway team-mate Max Verstappen.

In Miami, he failed to hold on to first place with Verstappen hauling him in, while the Mexican had weekends to forget in Monaco and Spain where he finished 16th and fourth respectively.

It means Perez now trails Verstappen by 59 points in the championship.

“In real terms, I would say he is under threat,” ex-F1 driver and former Sky Sports pundit Herbert said, in an interview with OLBG.

“As much as Sergio showed in the early part of the season that he was more than capable of mixing it with Max, there was then a point that he wasn’t.

“But he is a very good number two. When he is on his game he can win. Even then he would be second of third and that will still enable Red Bull to win the constructors’ championship which is obviously very important.”

Herbert then singled out four drivers capable of being a bigger challenge to Verstappen, singling out Norris in particular.

Sergio Perez’s spot at Red Bull is ‘under threat’, says Johnny Herbert (Getty Images)

“If you want more competitiveness to Verstappen, you either need Russell or Hamilton or Charles Leclerc – or maybe Lando Norris.

“Lando Norris has a long-term contract with McLaren and I don’t know if he has a performance clause in it to move from McLaren.

“I think it would be a good move for Red Bull. It would add positivity to the team and I think he is more than capable of being able to deal with that position.”

Verstappen is going for his fourth win in a row at the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend while Perez is looking to cut the deficit to the irrepressible Dutchman.

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