Marko reminds Perez that there are ‘three drivers’ at AlphaTauri


Helmut Marko has shown Sergio Perez the yellow card and reminded the Mexican that the insecurity of his seat at Red Bull Racing will only get worse if he doesn’t end his “negative spiral”.

Perez’s Qatar Grand Prix weekend was another messy affair, marked by a failure to make the Q3 cut in qualifying, his involvement in a three-way collision in Saturday’s sprint and by a laborious run to P10 on Sunday littered with track limit penalties.

Overall, Perez has only put five points on the board in the last three races – compared to Max Verstappen’s tally of 69, while his gap third-placed man in the champion, Lewis Hamilton, has shrunk to 30 points which puts in jeopardy his runner-up spot in the Drivers’ standings.

“In between there were fast laps again [in Qatar], but it doesn’t help if you get 10-second penalties,” Marko told ORF, commenting on his efforts at Lusail.

The Austrian never feigned to be surprised by Perez’s significant points shortfall relative to Verstappen.

But McLaren’s newfound strength, that yielded in Qatar a second double podium finish in succession for team papaya, has become a real risk for Perez’s ability to hold his own in second place in the standings.

“Now it [P2 in the championship] becomes critical when two such strong drivers are in the McLaren,” Marko said.

“I hope we can save second place [in the World Championship]. It looked quite comfortable for a while, but now the lead is melting.

“Checo has to deliver now. We have three drivers in the AlphaTauri team, and Lawson is a reserve driver for four cars. So a lot can ].”

Regarding Lawson’s prospects, Marko added that it’s “simply a logical consequence that Lawson will sooner or later be consistently in Formula 1”, hinting that a permanent race seat could materialize sooner rather than later for the Kiwi if Perez’s poor run for form continues.


Red Bull team boss Christian Horner lamented Perez’s inability last weekend to bag more points in a race from which Hamilton took away nothing.

“Checo has had a shocking race, he had a terrible weekend,” said Horner. “So it was a missed opportunity to really consolidate second place.

“We’re going to give all the support we possibly can for Checo to find his form. You guys will beat him up enough, but we really want to see him achieve what we know he’s capable of.”

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