Ralf Schumacher has suggested that Red Bull and Sergio Perez parting ways would make complete sense as he believes the Mexican hasn’t got it in him to be world champion.
The 33-year-old scored his second win of the season at the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix but he still trails teammate Max Verstappen in the drivers’ championship after four races. Schumacher believes Red Bull should consider axing Perez to get two world-champion material drivers in their car.
“Sergio Perez drove strongly in Azerbaijan,” Schumacher said in his Sky Sport Deutschland column.
“He also has the potential here and there to be faster than Max Verstappen. But with a view to the World Championship fight, I don’t think he has the consistency of Verstappen.
“He sometimes makes a mistake under pressure when he’s not too happy with the car. Verstappen doesn’t make those mistakes and so I think he’ll be the better driver throughout the year.
“There are many rumours circulating in the paddock about Perez‘s future. Red Bull do have options: There’s Yuki Tsunoda, Daniel Ricciardo is still there and there are enough drivers on the market too.
“If there is a troubled relationship between Verstappen and Perez then it would make sense to part ways with the Mexican. If you look closely, you can see that the teammates don’t get along well.
“And if a team has two drivers who don’t harmonise with each other, then that’s a big disadvantage for the team in the end.”
Head to head
This is Verstappen and Perez‘s third season as teammates at Red Bull and the Mexican is yet to prove that he can challenge the Dutchman over the course of a season.
In his first year with the Milton Keynes-based team, Perez managed just one race win – also at the Azerbaijan GP – while Verstappen went on to score 10 victories on his way to a controversial title.
The Mexican did double his tally from 2021 in 2022 with two wins – at Monaco and Singapore – but that was in the fastest car on the grid and Verstappen clowned him again with 15 wins.
Things may be two apiece so far in 2023 but if previous years are anything to go by, Verstappen hasn’t even got out of first gear yet and he still leads the way.