Christian Horner, Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Miami International Autodrome, 2022

Perez and Red Bull have “started to talk” over 2023 deal

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In the round-up: Sergio Perez has confirmed negotiations have begun with Red Bull over a potential contract extension for 2023

In brief

Perez confirms Red Bull negotiations for 2023

Sergio Perez has confirmed negotiations have begun with Red Bull over a potential contract extension for 2023.

Perez is racing in his second season with the Red Bull team, having received a one year contract extension for 2022. Asked whether negotiations had begun between him and the team for next season, Perez confirmed that discussions were taking place.

“Yeah we started to talk, but we are not in a hurry to get anything done soon,” said Perez.

Alfa Romeo could have beaten Mercedes without Safety Car – Pujolar

Alfa Romeo’s head of trackside engineering, Xevi Pujolar, says that Valtteri Bottas could have finished ahead of the two Mercedes on pace in the Miami Grand Prix were it not for the Safety Car intervention.

Bottas qualified fifth on the grid for the race, behind both Ferraris and Red Bulls, and was running ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the race before the Safety Car, that allowed George Russell to pit for medium tyres and rejoin seventh, were he would pass both to take fifth.

Asked if Alfa Romeo had the third-fastest car around the Miami circuit, Pujolar replied “I think yes.”

“I think without the Safety Car, we were in a reasonably comfortable position there,” he explained. “Because when we were up to speed, the pace was good. Okay, we could not go anywhere because Russell was there waiting for that Safety Car that then came for him. But I think we were in a reasonably good position.

“After the Safety Car, for some reason they seemed to struggle more mid-to-end of the stints. We were struggling a bit more at the restart. We needed a few more laps to get up to speed. This is maybe a point that we will try to see what can we do in the future without affecting our, our consistency that we have. But without the Safety Car I think we were ahead of them, the two Mercedes.”

Hamilton and Russell race “how team mates should race”, says Wolff

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says he is “really happy” with how Hamilton and Russell are racing each other so far in 2022.

Russell overtook Hamilton twice in Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix after his first pass on Hamilton was deemed to be outside of track limits. Wolff says that he is pleased with the dynamic between his two drivers so far.

“I’m really happy about the two of them, how they interact, how respectfully they do about with each other,” Wolff said.

“Even a situation where they race each other and where it’s getting a bit ‘I’m not leaving you room’, ‘okay then, I’m going to find another way’, and then you give the position back – I think this is how the two of them, how team mates should race each other. And that’s okay.”

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Comment of the day

With George Russell admitting good fortune had played a large role in his driver from 12th on the grid to fifth in the Miami Grand Prix, reader Dan reckons the Mercedes driver should give himself more credit…

I think George is being very modest here. No need to make up excuses for finishing 5th. He drove a hell of a race.

Yes he was lucky with the Safety Car but he made his luck. A few laps earlier Merc wanted to bring him in and put him on softs but he suggested staying out as he would benefit if there was a safety car. Bingo! Smart racing.

I am especially happy for him because Merc screwed up his setup somehow on Saturday after being fastest on Friday. It’s too early to tell but Lewis may have his hands full besting him this year.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Julian Castaldi!


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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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39 comments on “Perez and Red Bull have “started to talk” over 2023 deal”

  1. Perez should consider retirement. He has had a long and wonderful career. Pointless to continue to be rear gunner to Max a job Gasly, Albon, Yuki or any of the juniors can do.

    1. A job those mentioned drivers would struggle to fulfil anyway based on current form, Perez is the driver they need right now and doesn’t need replacing assuming red bull remain very happy with him

      1. Those second car drivers need to be of a special kind: fast enough to be a tactical help; consistent enough to bring in WCC points; and, obedient/realistic enough to execute team orders.
        Massa and (mostly) Bottas were good examples. Rosberg overdelivered on pace, but never complied with the latter requirement, whereas Barrichello was probably the opposite.
        Perez’s improvement in form starts to create a good fit with the role of 2nd driver.

        1. Agree with all the replies above. Redbull needs a driver who does not have WDC ambitions.

    2. Checo has been much closer to Max this year, he needs to take another step to beat Max for sure. But at least he’s showing progress and I’m sure there are tiny details that will inch him closer to his goal.

      The majority of fans on here have wrote him completely off, but he has the dream of being champion and working really hard. If hard work truly pays off, I believe he can do it given enough time.

      1. Clearly the Perez camp needs to put Marko and RB in their place. Without PER they will tumble backwards.

      2. I don’t think it’s realistic for a driver of perez’s ability to win a title in the current situation, ferrari and red bull are pretty similar, he would have to beat his team mate and a driver just as fast as his team mate in a team that’s just as fast. I think he’s button level but needs special circumstances to win a title, just like button ofc.

        1. I feel people are often a bit harsh on Button. He was no all-time great like Schumacher or Hamilton, but once he matured, he was consistently among the top 5 drivers of the season.
          Except for drivers like Alonso and Hamilton, few in that era could have lived with Button in his prime.
          Also remember that Button was usually impressive in the wet.

          Perez on the other hand, is just a very good driver, capable of race wins. Given the right team and the right team mate, he could indeed win a title.
          But if the right team hires Perez, their other driver will almost certainly not be right for Perez.

          Good driver to have next to a generational talent though.

    3. It’s not like he’s good enough to fight for a championship. Playing a rear gunner to Max in a championship winning car is as good as it gets for Perez.

      Honestly, I dont think Red Bull should jump the gun and sign him for another season or two. This season has just started, and while Perez seems to be in good form, he’s entirely capable of losing this form and again being around 0.6s to 0.8s behind Max.

      If I were Horner, I’d wait till the last few races of the season evaluate Perez, and also keep a close eye on Yuki and Gasly to see if they’re ready to make a step up.

    4. Alan Thomson
      13th May 2022, 5:11

      Gasly and Albon were nowhere close to Max. And Gasly absolutely sucked in that Red Bull

  2. Jockey-sized F1 drivers? Does anyone else get the amusing mental image of Esteban Ocon riding a racehorse…?

    1. @tommy-c Not me & never has such a thought come to me nor have I seen or heard similar mention anywhere, LOL.

    2. @tommy-c and when he says he’s “down on horsepower”, I picture him on a donkey!

    3. Ocon is tall for an F1 driver.

  3. That article about Hamilton and his watches sound like.those articles we saw during the pandemic that were titled similarly, like “let people make their own choice about vaccines”.

    Agree or not, if a regulation is there, it’s meant to be followed to the letter. You can discuss with them the necessity of it, but it’s not about treating people like adults and letting them make their own choice… As tiny as it might seem, the FIA has its reasons and they should be respected.

    1. On the other hand I also don’t understand why you can’t just put your watches on when you finish racing… I understand the nose stud it’s not removable, but the rest? Just put it all in a box and make.someome from your team being it to you when you’re back in the pits. Like they give you a cap, they can also give you your rings…

      It’s not that difficult

      1. @fer-no65 if we say that “if a regulation is there, it’s meant to be followed to the letter”, it means all three of the podium finishers also broke the sporting regulations over the way that they wore their overalls after the race ended. Should they they also be punished for that too?

        1. And should ‘whataboutism’ be an infraction of either the Sporting or the Technical regulations?

      2. I think all drivers put on the watches after the race.
        Which brings me to a more relevant point than filling this site with jewellery review articles: how did they (correctly) weigh Verstappen after he drank from a bottle (handed to him), and after he put on his watch?
        Is it the driver’s responsibility, or FIA’s, if the ‘weigh-out’ doesn’t occur (as planned).

        1. Because that’s a rounding error at worst.

          1. Drinking up to 500ml of fluids is hardly a ’rounding error’!
            Also there is no such thing as rounding errors in F1 (just ask Hamilton after Brazil quali last year)

        2. I’m pretty sure Felipe Massa used a wristwatch during racing, I remember thinking it was a bit pointless carrying that extra weight but then again Massa was already very light so I guess the engineers didn’t mind much.

    2. He has always taken all watches, bracelets, necklaces (loose jewelery) off pre-race. It’s literally just the earrings and nose stud that he keeps in, all of which are tight fitting, so not gonna rip out or strangle him. It’s a non-issue.
      A real issue is the lack of anything non-concrete on the outside of T14. That is a monumentally bigger safety issue!

      1. Bruno Verrari
        17th May 2022, 2:43

        Try a sauna with your metal neckless on..!

  4. Of course, getting an extension is another matter.
    I still have hope for Gasly’s repromotion, but time will tell.

    Normally, I’d disagree with such an assessment, but this time is slightly different as Alfa seemingly had enough pace to beat Mercs.
    Hamilton didn’t catch Bottas quickly at any point & Russell would’ve rejoined behind both without the SC neutralization, although he might’ve passed with his tyre advantage.

    The Merc duo indeed showed how teammates should race, although that one situation was odd & Will Buxton’s theory is the most logical.
    Russell stayed behind the whole time he was off, so not an off-track move, but I guess stewards viewed his brief off-track excursion gave him a speed advantage that eventually helped him get ahead into T13. Hamilton voluntarily letting him past is very much possible.

    That red hair dye, though.

    COTD is spot-on.

    1. The Merc duo indeed showed how teammates should race, although that one situation was odd & Will Buxton’s theory is the most logical.

      As a team manager I would have instructed LH to allow GR to overtake at the restart and try to fight Perez/Sainz.
      If by the end of the race that would have worked, I’d reverse them (unless of course they want to prioritise GR in the WDC standings)

      1. Really Merc should have pitted Lewis for Softs and instructed the oposite. IT was perfect timing and Merc were pretty much guaranteed 2 cars in positions 5-7 and double points finish.
        Keeping Hamilton out on track at best would result in a 5th and worst a 7th. Had they pitted him then you have 2 Mercs that might just have been faster than the front 4 and battling to get up to the podiums. With such a short race to the line and such a large pace advantage over cars behind this was a chance to take a shot at the front guys who were stuck on older rubber. instead Russel had to spend time battling Lewis and Bottas (who was very slow on the first lap meaning the MErcs lost pace to cars in front, once in open air Russel was one of the fastest cars on track)
        Merc struggle to take any agressive risk with strategy. Thats fine when you are battling for wins but when you are 3rd fastest car comfortably 3rd in constructors you need to take a punt.

        1. even better – you’re hired ;)

        2. Softs were a terrible tyre choice for the restart. They’d help you make progress for the first 5 laps, then fall off considerably. Ocon was seriously struggling by the end there.

    2. I hope Gasly finally gets kicked out of f1. Can’t understand how can you make a career out of being 2nd.

      1. Actually Perez leaving and Gasly going back to RB is the best thing that can happen for Ferrari Tifosi. And the other teams really. The Red Bull Verstappen domination Marko had in mind will not happen. Ferrari could have an excellent run if RB becomes weak by Perez’s departure. Marko and Bird treat PER worse than they ever treated Mark Webber.

        1. What exactly is this horrible treatment they give Perez. I haven’t seen any. hope you’re not referring to how they used him strategically during the last handful of races last year to support Max’s title hopes. That would be absurd. Also, Webber was signed on to be a leading driver. Not a #2. So, his anger was a lot more understandable. RBR has only spoken in glowing terms about Checo this season.

          1. Agree. PER receives some sort of parallel treatment. As long as VER wins, RBR will not put pressure on PER. He can finish fourth and that’s fine. RBR doesn’t need a driver that puts pressure on VER and PER knows this very well, so it is all great. The moment VER fails (stops winning), RBR will start pushing PER but until such time, they are happy the way it is. So, PER’s best strategy to keep his place is to ensure that VER is on top.

            The contrary problem is likely looming at Ferrari. I think LEC and SAI are much closer in talent than what the standings say. At some point, SAI will catch up and will not want the No. 2. It will be interesting to see what will happen there …

  5. Toto is not doing himself a favor again. His expressions indicate he does not know a different approach towards the drivers positions is needed when you do not run 1-2 place of the pack. George on fresh rubber behind Hamilton and then letting them race for it seems like Lewis has a bit too much status vs Toto, which leads to them not thinking straight. When did he take over from Brawn? Has he had any experience not running 1-2 or is it that long ago he doesn’t remember anymore? They need to step up their game, not just with the car but overall, strategy wise, tactics wise…

  6. Clearly the Perez camp needs to put Marko and RB in their place. Without PER they will tumble backwards.

  7. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    10th May 2022, 15:47

    Just curious, have one-year deals ever resulted in exceptional results?

    1. have exceptional results ever resulted in one-year deals?

  8. Re Brundle I have always been amazed at how composed and witty he is on commentary but on the grid walk he seems super awkward and on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Even when he doesn’t have to talk to random celebrities.

    1. I continue to be impressed by Brundle’s forthright nature. He is a trooper, especially lately. The only reason that he is stuck doing the grid walk is that he is the member of the Sky crew who has the most respect in the paddock. Can you imagine Ted doing it? Everyone would pull a page out of Kimi’s book, and the segment would fall flat. Brundle’s sacrifice has been our gain.

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