Red Bull won't open Perez contract talks before summer break

Red Bull will not begin talks with Sergio Perez over a new contract with the team until Formula 1's summer break at the earliest, according to Helmut Marko.

Following his exit from Racing Point at the end of last year, one-time grand prix winner Perez linked up with Red Bull for 2021, replacing Alexander Albon on a one-year deal.

Perez is yet to score a podium for Red Bull and has picked up less than half as many points as teammate Max Verstappen, who leads the drivers' world championship after five races.

But the Mexican driver has helped Red Bull move into the lead of the constructors' standings, impressing with a recovery from ninth on the grid to finish fourth in Monaco last time out.

Red Bull has held one of the key seats in the F1 driver market in recent years, running four different drivers in the last four years to partner Verstappen. Perez was only signed in mid-December last year, making the team one of the last to finalise its driver plans.

Red Bull advisor Marko revealed the team was yet to give a lot of thought to its line-up for ext year, saying there would not be any discussions until the summer break so full attention can be given to the championship fight.

"We'll start thinking about it in the summer at the earliest," Marko told Motorsport.com's sister publication Formel1.de in an exclusive interview.

"We are a very sought-after partner on the driver market. I don't think a driver will enter into negotiations or a deal with any other team until he has tried to come to an agreement with us.

"We are now fully focused on the world championship, and we don't see any problem there in terms of who will be Max Verstappen's teammate next year.

"It will certainly be a competitive guy. But there is still time."

Read Also:

Perez said upon joining Red Bull that it would take him some time to get up to speed with the RB16B car, predicting he would not be fully comfortable for four or five races.

Marko felt satisfied with how Perez has been performing in the race, citing his charge up the order in Monaco, but said an improvement was still needed over one lap.

"Let's start with the positive, that's the race performance," Marko said.

"It's very good, sometimes at Max's level. He proved that in Monte Carlo when we went for the overcut. That was three or four laps where he drove the fastest laps overall, with already very used tyres. So the race pace is there.

"The area where we're still lacking is in qualifying. We need to see an improvement there."

One driver within Red Bull's driver stable who has been linked with a return to the senior squad is Pierre Gasly, who is racing for AlphaTauri.

Last year's Italian Grand Prix winner has also been linked with a switch to Alpine, only for the French squad to rule out a move at present.

Asked about the chances of Gasly returning to Red Bull in the future, Marko said: "If I have it right in my head, Gasly's contract runs for another two years.

"It's a contract that lets us place him in both Red Bull and AlphaTauri. The same thing applies here: we're not thinking about the [2022] drivers at the moment.

"We'll think it through during the summer break and then make our decisions."

shares
comments

Related video

Schumacher: Vettel giving me lots of advice in good friendship
Previous article

Schumacher: Vettel giving me lots of advice in good friendship

Next article

Can F1 really give up wind tunnels by 2030?

Can F1 really give up wind tunnels by 2030?
Load comments
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021