Red Bull chief Helmut Marko piles pressure on Sergio Perez ahead of Horner talks

Max Verstappen wins third consecutive Formula One world championship

Red Bull chief Helmut Marko has put further pressure on Sergio Perez following his disappointing performance at the Qatar Grand Prix. The Mexican scored just a single point in the race on Sunday, having also crashed in the sprint race on Saturday that ultimately handed team-mate Max Verstappen the title.

Verstappen winning his third successive drivers’ title has been a foregone conclusion for weeks, and Red Bull have already turned their attention to other members of the team as they look to improve further and avoid complacency within their ranks.

Perez remains second in the championship standings, but if he is unable to bounce back to form then he risks throwing away a one-two for Red Bull. The driver collected multiple time penalties throughout the race on Sunday for not respecting track limits, and Marko has sent a stern message to the 33-year-old.

He told Sky Deutschland: “He has to get out of this negative spiral. There were fast laps in between, but it doesn’t help with all these penalties.”

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Red Bull team boss Christian Horner also spoke about Perez’s disappointment, revealing that he wants to hold a conversation with the driver to try and overcome the ongoing issues. He explained: “We need to talk to him (Perez) to understand what happened.

“He had a tough race and a very tough weekend and we will continue to give him our full support. He’s still second in the drivers’ standings, but he urgently needs to get back into shape.” Speculation is brewing that the conversations could be the start of several key rounds of talks with Perez’s position under threat, though Horner has given no indication that he is looking to find Verstappen a new team-mate for 2024 at this stage.

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Perez took issue with the modifications made to the track when speaking about his underwhelming display at Doha, feeling that the last-minute curb changes were one of the roots of his issues. He continued: “For me, it was difficult to judge where exactly the limits of the track were.

“To me, it all seems like a joke to come out and modify everything at the last minute like this,” he said, referring to the last-minute track alterations due to curb issues. It has been a frustrating race. I am very disappointed for having failed my team. It was a poor weekend.”

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