Published On: Mon, Apr 8th, 2024

Sergio Perez request ‘laughed at’ by Red Bull as Helmut Marko rejects Mexican | F1 | Sport

Sergio Perez is reportedly chasing a three-year contract extension with Red Bull, but the Mexican driver’s request was laughed off, according to former F1 driver Robert Doornbos. It is alleged that Helmut Marko only wants to offer the 34-year-old one-year extensions due to fears that he’ll ‘sit back’ and become complacent with a longer contract.

Checo has enjoyed something of a fairytale recovery since the 2023 summer break. The former Sauber and Racing Point driver endured a miserable time during the European leg of last season but improved his results in the final handful of races before carrying that form into his contract year. 

With three P2 finishes in the opening four rounds of the 2024 campaign, Perez is now in a strong position to negotiate for a contract extension, despite interest in his seat from the likes of Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz.

However, Ziggo Sport commentator Doornbos doesn’t believe that Perez will get the long-term extension that he is looking for. “For example, Perez went to that team yesterday [in Japan] and said, I want a three-year deal,” he explained. “At the table, there is a laughing reaction to the anecdote.

“Laughable, indeed. That request is rejected by Marko. He says: ‘No way, you have to give him a deal for a maximum of one year. Because if you give him a two-year deal, he’ll sit back and give up again. Let him run every year.’”

This wouldn’t be the first time that Marko has suggested that Perez’s recent performances have been linked to his contract status. “Perhaps it also plays a role that next year’s contracts are at stake – this year much earlier than usual,” he said after the Japanese Grand Prix. “That also seems to be very motivating.”

However, while the length of a potential contract extension looks unclear, it is true that Perez is in a strong position with just a couple of months remaining until the driver market chaos kicks off. After four rounds, he remains within 13 points of Max Verstappen in the standings and is delivering what Red Bull desire from him. 

“I am pretty relaxed about it,” he told Sky Sports F1 in Japan. “It is my 14th season in F1 and whatever comes next, I am already really pleased with what I have done in the sport so far. I believe it will be a matter of time.

“Obviously the driver market is moving and in the next few weeks, there are going to be a lot of movements for sure. So, I expect within a month to really know what I am doing next year.”

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