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Sergio Perez

Perez facing Red Bull axe if slump continues - Button

If the rumours are to be believed, Perez has two more races to save his Red Bull career.

Perez FP1 Silverstone
Article
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Sergio Perez can soon expect to be axed by Red Bull if he does not start collecting points to aid the team in its bid to retain its F1 constructors' championship.

Jenson Button, the 2009 F1 champion, feels Perez's shocking run of form can no longer be tolerated by team principal Christian Horner, who will be running the rule over reserve driver Liam Lawson at Silverstone on Thursday.

Horner has played down its significance, insisting it is nothing more than an aero run, but RacingNews365 understands Lawson is under evaluation, and could be in the RB20 for the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort immediately after F1's August summer break.

Perez effectively has two races to save his seat given there are performance clauses in his contract stipulating he has to be within 100 points and five positions of Verstappen coming out of the next two races in Hungary and Belgium

At present, the gap between the Mexican and the Dutch driver is 137 points, and exactly five places. However, Perez has Mercedes duo George Russell and Lewis Hamilton just seven and eight points adrift respectively, and with the team back in form.

The speculation comes off the back of another wretched weekend for Perez who beached his car in the gravel in qualifying for his third Q1 exit in the last five races. Starting from the pit lane after PU components were changed in parc fermé, it was also a race to forget.

Addressing the growing concern for Perez, who only signed a new one-plus-one contract earlier this season, Horner and Red Bull, speaking to Sky Sports F1, Button said: "It's a massive issue.

"This was just a terrible weekend. He was unlucky in some ways as well. This isn't going to happen every race weekend.

"But for McLaren to be taking that many points out of them [Red Bull] this weekend, it's big, and Mercedes didn't have two cars that finished, but if the reliability had been there, again it would have been a big chunk that Mercedes would have taken out of Red Bull.

"They are on the backfoot. They're the third highest scoring team over the last five of six races, so he needs to be scoring some points at least, even if he's not finishing right behind Max."

Red Bull can't let Perez situation go on forever

Over the last five races since Monaco, Red Bull has scored 105 points compared to the 141 for McLaren and 142 for Mercedes.

Personally, Perez has only scored 15 points in his past six grands prix. Only Lance Stroll (14) and Fernando Alonso (12) have fared worse among the top 11 in the drivers' standings.

Button has no doubt Horner will act if Perez does not improve over the next two races.

"They can't let it go on forever," added Button. "If at the next race he doesn't score points again, soon enough, they've got to get him out of the car and put someone else in.

"It's tough, I know. It's not a nice feeling for a driver. It's horrible but for them the manufacturers' championship is important."

Also interesting:

In the latest podcast, Ian, Sam and Nick discuss the British GP and Hamilton's emotional return to winning ways. Hamilton's journey since 2021 is discussed, as is Lando Norris' BIGGEST hurdle and Sergio Perez entering the Red Bull danger zone!

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here.

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