Red Bull should cast Sergio Perez aside in favour of bringing Daniel Ricciardo into the team for the 2024 season, according to Express Sport readers. However, fans were very closely separated when asked about the matter with the Milton Keynes-based team facing a difficult decision regarding next year’s line-up.
Checo kicked off the 2023 season in style with two wins in his first four races, but he has failed to return to the top step of the podium since then and now sits a record-breaking 266 points behind his team-mate and reigning world champion Max Verstappen.
The 33-year-old’s struggles this season led Red Bull to restore Daniel Ricciardo to the F1 grid, handing him a drive with AlphaTauri at the expense of rookie Nyck de Vries. An impressive P4 qualifying result at Checo’s home race was backed up by a P7 finish in the race, piling the pressure back onto his shoulders.
Perez responded well to those struggles in Brazil, finishing fourth on the road after narrowly losing out on the final podium spot in a mesmerising last-lap battle with Fernando Alonso. That performance has alleviated some of the pressure facing him, but in the F1 community, the debate rages on.
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When posed the question of whether or not Red Bull should terminate Sergio Perez’s contract prematurely, 52 per cent of Express Sport readers believed that they should pull the trigger with 48 per cent believing that Christian Horner’s faith in the Mexican is well-placed.
Despite his struggles, Perez believes that he still has what it takes to become a world champion. Speaking to Dutch news outlet De Limburger earlier this season, he said: “I struggled a lot in the summer. In the beginning, I was competing for the world title, but from May onwards that changed.
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“I was riding without confidence. At one point I just didn’t come out. That was very tough. Because you ride with a top team, the pressure to perform increases quickly. But I didn’t give up and kept working hard with the engineers to sort things out.
“My self-confidence came back when I realised that I won races under my own steam earlier this year. I dare say I am 100 per cent again now. And I also have the conviction again that I can have a shot at the world title next year.”
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