The ex-F1 driver, now an expert for Sky Germany, claimed that Sergio Perez’s “days are numbered” at Red Bull.

Red Bull consultant Marko has now offered a typical response to Ralf’s prediction.

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“Hopefully he didn't mean that Mick Schumacher would have to replace him,” he laughed to OE25

Perez has a deal with Red Bull until the end of next season but has been under immense pressure to keep his seat in F1’s best car.

Last weekend, team principal Christian Horner’s backing of Perez was at odds with Marko’s harsher verdict.

Asked to clarify his opinion of Perez’s role, Marko said: “Now he has a contract until 2024.”

Marko was asked if that meant a guarantee that Perez would drive for Red Bull next season.

He replied: “Job guarantee, is that available in Formula 1? 

“In any case, it is a contractual guarantee.

“Checo drives really well at times, but doesn't always manage to squeeze everything out of the car without making mistakes. 

“In Zandvoort, for example, he probably wouldn't have finished in the points without the crash.”

Red Bull arrive at this weekend’s F1 Italian Grand Prix hoping to keep alive their remarkable run of winning every race this season so far.

“I also think it's quite possible now,” Marko said. 

“On the other hand, something can always happen.”