Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has suggested that Max Verstappen could have a new team-mate for his fascinating battle with Lewis Hamilton in 2022. But the driver chief admitted that no call would be made until F1’s summer break.
Sergio Perez was installed as Verstappen’s team-mate for the 2021 campaign and the Mexican most recently delivered a solid p4 at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Perez, nicknamed ‘Checo’, has helped Red Bull take a narrow lead over Mercedes in the F1 Constructors Standings as the title battle between Verstappen and Hamilton intensifies.
But while Perez has proven himself as a race-day specialist, there are concerns over his form in qualifying and whether he is the ideal partner for Verstappen.
“Let’s start with the positive, that’s his performance in the race,” ” Marko told Formel1.de.
“They are very good, sometimes he is at the level of Max [Verstappen].
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“We don’t think about that until the summer at the earliest,” he added.
“In the driver market we are a very sought-after partner.
“We are now fully focused on the World Championship and we see no problem as to who will be Max’s team-mate next year. It’s definitely going to be a competitive driver, but we’ve got time.”
Gasly was demoted to AlphaTauri in 2019 but has since shown Red Bull what they have missed, sealing his own race win in the Italian Grand Prix last September.
The Frenchman shares a difficult relationship with Red Bull after losing his seat, but remains in their program and very much in their future plans.
“If I’m right, Gasly’s contract will continue for another two years,” said Marko.
“It’s a contract that allows us to place him with both Red Bull and AlphaTauri.
“However, the same applies here – we are not yet thinking about our drivers for 2022. That’s what we do during the summer break and then we make our decisions.”