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Red Bull Racing

Marko stings Schumacher over Perez criticism

Marko has fired back at criticism directed towards Perez

To news overview © XPBimages

Red Bull Motorsport Advisor Helmut Marko has hit back at criticism directed towards Sergio Perez by former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher.

Perez has struggled for form this term having initially challenged teammate Max Verstappen with two wins from the opening four races before a rough patch, including five races without a Q3 appearance, took him out of title contention.

The Mexican's inability to match the two-time champion in the RB19 had led to speculation that his place with Red Bull was under pressure, rumours only ramped up by the return of the now-injured Daniel Ricciardo to AlphaTauri after only 10 races of the season.

A second-successive runner-up finish looked likely at the Dutch Grand Prix before two separate incidents - including a crash into the pit lane which would yield damage - put him on the back foot.

Whilst his mechanics repaired the damage sustained, Perez would ultimately lose his podium spot by virtue of a five-second penalty for pit lane speeding.

Speaking to OE24, Marko explained: “Unfortunately, Checo drives really well at times but doesn't always manage to squeeze the last out of the car without making mistakes.

“At Zandvoort, for example, he probably wouldn't have finished in the points without the red flag."

Marko takes aim at Mick Schumacher

Whilst Perez has a contract for next season and his place has been confirmed by Team Principal Christian Horner on a number of occasions, comments from Marko and rumours from outside the team continue to add pressure over his future.

Former driver-turned-pundit Schumacher has been one voice that has suggested change would be needed to ensure Red Bull pushes forward and whilst Marko again cast doubt over any guarantees, the Austrian took a swipe at the six-time Grand Prix winner.

"A job guarantee... is there such a thing in Formula 1? In any case, it's a contractual guarantee," added Marko.

"Hopefully, he [Ralf] didn't mean that Mick Schumacher would have to replace him [Perez]."

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