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Sergio Perez

Perez's 'days at Red Bull are numbered' - Schumacher

Will the Mexican hold onto his seat alongside Verstappen?

Perez crash Hungary
To news overview © XPBimages

Former F1 race winner Ralf Schumacher believes Sergio Perez's "days at Red Bull are numbered".

The Mexican returned to the podium for only the second time in seven races at the Hungarian Grand Prix after a miserable run of form that included incidents and poor results - notably five races without a Q3 appearance.

A nightmare start to the Hungaroring weekend saw Perez crash out of first practice within the first five minutes and despite reaching Q3 to end his apparent curse, he could only muster ninth on the grid.

But an aggressive drive delivered a statement as Perez rose to third by the end of the race, his push for second hampered by traffic late in the race.

Schumacher, however, is concerned over the four-time winner's future and, writing in his Sky Sports DE column, explained: "The mood for Sergio Perez has recently been gloomy.

"After numerous blunders in recent weeks, massive criticism has again poured in following his crash in the first free practice session in Hungary.

"The problem with Perez is consistency - he has too many fluctuations and is perhaps not mentally stable enough. He's simply too far away from Max and for me, his days at Red Bull are numbered."

Unfair pressure

Perez has faced increasing pressure by virtue of his lack of form, which has allowed teammate Max Verstappen to storm into a 110-point advantage in the Drivers' standings.

Daniel Ricciardo's return at AlphaTauri has further ramped up speculation over Perez's long-term future with Red Bull and former Jordan, Williams and Toyota driver Schumacher is certain change will come for next season.

"It's unfair of us to increase the pressure on him, but especially in the future, when other teams are getting closer, Red Bull can't afford one driver being so clearly slower than the other," said the German.

"The team is logically trying to make Perez believe that his job is not in jeopardy, but I don't think he will still be driving for Red Bull next year.

F1 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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