Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has provided an update on who will be driving alongside Max Verstappen in 2023.
Despite Sergio Perez’s great start to the season, Red Bull will not confirm their second driver with Max Verstappen for some time.
While Verstappen has been confirmed to stay with Red Bull until the end of 2028, Perez’s contract expires at the conclusion of this season, and the second cockpit might be up for grabs in 2023.
Given Perez’s close proximity to Verstappen in the first four races, as well as his early lead in Saudi Arabia, Red Bull is likely to want to extend his contract, although Helmut Marko has stated that the decision will not be made just yet.
“By the summer break, we will make the choice who will be Verstappen’s teammate in 2023,” he told Viaplay.
In addition to Perez, Red Bull might pursue AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, who is under contract with the team for another season before being tempted to move elsewhere.
“Pierre is under contract with us until the end of 2023, so there is still some time,” Marko said. “As always with Red Bull, it’s about their performance.”
Marko lauded Perez for securing his first career pole position in Saudi Arabia, as well as podium results in Australia and Imola, as he has drastically narrowed the distance to Verstappen since first stepping into a Red Bull.
When asked by Sport1 if Red Bull is now the dominant power in Formula One following their victory in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Marko said that Perez has improved his game.
“I wouldn’t go so far as to say that we are a force, but last year, we had the fastest man in Max, now Perez is also integrating better and better into the team and understands the car better,” Marko added.
“Then a 1-2 [finish] is the logical consequence at some point.”