Perez warned 'contracts are there to be broken'

Eight points from the last four races makes disappointing reading for Sergio Perez and Red Bull. Michael Bleekemolen has his verdict ready on the Mexican to RacingNews365, who recently extended his contract at the Austrian racing stable.

Perez warned 'contracts are there to be broken'
Sergio Perez is enduring a difficult run of form at Red Bull. His last podium came in late April at the Chinese Grand Prix, when he finished third behind team-mate Max Verstappen and McLaren's Lando Norris. Since his latest trip to the podium, he has grabbed a third and fourth in Miami, followed by two eighth-place finishes from Imola and Spain. Monaco and Canada saw him retire due to on-track incidents. During the Spanish Grand Prix, Perez failed to make an impression. Starting from 11th on the grid, he struggled to rise through the order and crossed the line in eighth. Speaking to RacingNews365 , Dutch racing driver Michael Bleekemolen suggested Perez is not the right option for Red Bull. “He could visit our karting track once, so he can practice some ideal lines and start to learn some of the basics, because he’ll be done for otherwise. That would be a shame, but that’s the way it is,” he said. “And I have yet to see if his contract will last. People will get second thoughts when they see his results. But then, another question would be: what other option does Red Bull have? Who is fast and good enough for that seat? In that case, I would say: go and get Carlos Sainz.” But would he also make that choice if he were the team boss at Red Bull?  "I would look toward Sainz,” Bleekemolen said. “He doesn't have a seat yet. Again, Sainz is not at the level of Max, but he is only a little bit behind. And that's obviously good for the team, because they don't want Max to be beaten by a team-mate.  “That's not going to happen either, so then someone like [Sainz] is good. Sainz doesn't crash much and I think that would be a good one." An early exit? Perez was recently extended until the end of 2026 - but Bleekemolen is therefore already questioning whether Perez will serve out his just-renewed contract at Red Bull at all.  "You do wonder that now. I'm sure they will wonder that too, but maybe they will think: 'we don't care'. Of course they do care about the constructors' championship and that will bring in money again.  “That will be a downside for Perez then and it might be an exit before 2026 for him. But I think they will be scratching their heads anyway: 'What should we do for next year?' Because contracts are made there to be broken, not to be enforced." To the media, for example, team boss Christian Horner has been fairly lenient on the Mexican. But inside, people are talking differently about the Mexican.  “When they’re behind closed doors, they’ll undoubtedly have different things to say about him. Then they’ll probably say: 'it happened again, his performance lacked again'. That’s what everyone would say, but they obviously cannot say things like that when everyone is watching.” Though Bleekemolen does have an idea why Perez is being kept in the saddle at Red Bull. “Formula 1 is all about money and Perez seems to bring quite a lot of sponsorship money to the table. I’m sure that makes a big difference as well. We all know what’s possible with big amounts of money, and the team still knows that as well.  “What can they buy when there’s 10, 20 or 30 million euros coming in? It’s definitely a lot, so that is definitely worth something in the greater scheme of things. They could choose Sainz, but that would mean they’d have to pay him and that’ll be a lot. That would then differ entirely from the Perez situation, so that definitely plays a role.” 'Dramatic' In Spain, Perez managed only four points, behind the two McLarens, Mercedes, Ferrari and Verstappen. That puts him at eight points from the last four races.  "That's dramatic. I also don't know if the Red Bull was and still is the fastest car. Certainly at the moment it's all kind of equal. And then he's going to fall through, you can see that. You pretty much get that number of points with a Williams." But then why do things keep going wrong for the Mexican? Bleekemolen tried to put his finger on it. “He just doesn’t have the right car control and is unable to anticipate properly. When Red Bull has three different engines available, he’s definitely not going to get the fastest one. Of course, the fastest one will go to Max, that will always be the case. So Perez will always start with a slight disadvantage, but that’ll only be a small problem.  “And he’ll have to be the first one to make a pit stop every once in a while, which also makes sense because Red Bull has to check his tyres to see if Max can continue on the same compound as well. All of these things never really work in his favour.” With that, he already showed in Canada that he was struggling to get to the front and in Spain, too, he only managed to gain three positions.  “Such people will always be part of the subtop, they’ll always be the best out of the group of worst drivers on the grid. Sometimes, you’re just unable to grow out of that phase, because that’s just part of who you are. That’s part of your DNA.”

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