Martin Brundle’s theory for why Red Bull are sticking with Sergio Perez - for now

Martin Brundle offers his theory for why Red Bull are currently keeping the faith in Sergio Perez.

Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 12, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England, Race
Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 12,…

Martin Brundle believes Red Bull have not chosen to replace Sergio Perez yet due to the commercial and sponsorship benefits he brings to the F1 team.

Despite recently being handed a fresh two-year deal, pressure is growing on the underperforming Perez, who has finished no higher than seventh in the past five races and has contributed just 11 points to Red Bull’s tally of 105 points in that time.

Perez’s dramatic nosedive in form has seen him drop to sixth place in the drivers’ championship - 137 points behind teammate Max Verstappen - and ramped up speculation that Red Bull could replace him during the season.

Brundle called Perez’s current struggles “painful” to watch but offered a theory as to why he thinks Red Bull are sticking by the 34-year-old Mexican.

“We know that it’s commercially attractive to them, we know that he’s a good foil for Max,” Brundle said on the Sky Sports F1 podcast.

“He’s normally fast enough to do a good job and bring some relevant information - not fast enough to bother Max, particularly - and it works for them, and they have won both championships.

“But all of a sudden, they’ve got some rivals on their hands, and they can’t comfortably win the constructors’ title without Sergio being on tip-top form.

“So the ground rules have changed in that respect and you wonder how long they will be able to cope with this. But with the sponsorship, with Red Bull’s commerciality in North and South America, with the Mexican grand prix yet to come would you really not want Sergio Perez on the grid? So that’s the balancing point.

“If he was ‘Driver B’ and none of that nationality or commerciality mattered, they would have replaced him – let’s be honest.”

If Perez were to be axed, Brundle reckons Red Bull reserve driver Liam Lawson would be the frontrunner to take his seat.

“It’s a tough one. The trouble is for a young driver, Verstappen just breaks their head because he’s so fast and he can handle a car that’s a little bit lively in a high-speed corner,” he explained. 

“You would say that Ricciardo’s head is in the right place to actually not be battered again by Max, but I think that’s happened to Sergio and his head should be in the right place as well. We sense Daniel is under pressure for his seat let alone being rewarded moving up to the top team.

“Their F2 boys won’t be ready for it. I think I’d put Lawson in it if they are going to put anybody in it and see what he could do and try and manage his head down on it. He seems quite strong.”

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