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If Perez goes who’s next for Red Bull? Lando? Dan? Yuki?

daniel-ricciardo-yuki-tsunoda-mexico-press-If Perez goes who's next for Red Bull? Lando? Dan? Yuki?

Sergio Perez, the second driver at Red Bull has had a bad season compared to runaway Formula 1 World Championship leader and teammate Max Verstappen, so much there is talk he may even be replaced. Should that happen, who is next in line?

Verstappen and Red Bull have taken the 2023 F1 world championship by storm this season, staying at the top of the standings for both the driver and constructor leaderboards. The team has set some outstanding performances throughout the season without a loss in ten races, but this is not the only reason it is capturing all the headlines.

Rumours of a change of seat in the team keep growing after every Grand Prix weekend, in which Perez struggles, relative to Max, to deliver at least second place with the next car on the grid in the RB19.

It has been team advisor Helmut Marko’s job to keep denying rumours of any shakeups as sports publications keep alluding to impending changes. Changes like these are commonplace in F1, and Marko will know about it better than anyone else.

At AlphaTauri, the team advisor did make changes – Nyck de Vries out for Daniel Ricciardo – showed just how ruthless he can be. He acknowledged this but stated that stability was the main focus at Red Bull. Bettors enthusiastic about F1 know how much these rumours can determine what teams punters back.

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Perez is Having a Bad Season

If Perez goes who's next for Red Bull? Lando? Dan? Yuki?

At the start of the 2023 season, Checo Perez hit the ground running , even bagging two wins from his first four races. His teammate Max Verstappen bagged a win in the 5th race, but this did not threaten Chico’s chances, who stood 14 points behind Verstappen.

After this, is when things seem to have gone south for the driver. The past couple of weekends have considerably threatened his chances of winning a second F1 title. The downward spiral started in Monaco, where he crashed out in qualifying.

This left the driver in the last position. With the tight corners of the Monaco circuit, he did not have much luck overtaking, thus finishing the race with no points.

Spain ushered in yet another lacklustre weekend. While he did manage to work his way up to 4th position after starting the race at 11th, his teammate, Max Verstappen, won the race opening up a gap of 53 points between the two drivers.

This fading form is one of the main reasons pundits have speculated about a replacement should the driver’s form keep dipping. Currently, there are three main candidates the team may be looking to as a replacement for Perez.

Yuki Tsunoda

verstappen tsunoda

Yuki Tsunoda was not among the top candidates for the Red Bull seat when the season started, but the driver demonstrated his prowess as the season progressed. His performance under Alpha Tauri has been impressive and consistent despite a car that looked slow off the start line.

This season, the driver has shown impeccable driving with signs of the edginess that had him tipped as one of the brightest young talents in the Red Bull junior program. Daring driving without the hot-headedness of his younger years has Yuki Tsunoda sitting comfortably among his competition for the seat.

Daniel Ricciardo

The name that has been on most people’s lips when it comes to the replacement for Verstappen’s number two, Daniel Ricciardo, seems to be the easiest to get for Red Bull. His easy-going personality is one of the reasons he might be a favourite for replacing Perez at Red Bull.

This is coupled with his excellent racing capabilities that could add a well-deserved mound of points to Red Bull’s title ambitions. Ricciardo is already on Red Bull’s roster as a reserve driver. This, coupled with the fact that McLaren has announced they are cutting him loose, could just push the driver to Red Bull. Ricciardo has also been on record stating his eagerness to prove himself alongside Verstappen.

Lando Norris

Norris launches his own line of SunGod eyewear for Silverstone

The young Brit is a top talent that is yet to show his full potential. In Lando Norris, Red Bull gets a young driver full of untapped potential. A driver like that is a good long-term investment that Red Bull could use.

The young driver currently lends his services to the McLaren team, whose progress seems to have stalled over recent months. Norris to Red Bull would mostly be about the driver’s own preferences because we know the money would be no object if they should settle on the young driver.

For now the 23-year-old is locked into Woking until he is 25, but after that, he will be looking for a top-three team if McLaren is not there at that point in his career. RBR would be a logical choice but with the ominous prospect of Max as a teammate, he might shy from the idea, but then if he does believe he is better than the Dutch ace which he should do (or not be in F1) that will be a chance to prove it.

But Ferrari and Mercedes will also be hunting a driver for their own futures, Norris is sure be top of every list.

Wrapping Up

The F1 season is full of ups and downs, driving teams to the edge. Shifts in the driver’s seat are some of the changes that can make or break a season. Red Bull are yet to release an official statement announcing their position.

In the meantime, Helmut feels that Perez could secure his seat in the team if he can improve his qualifying performances. As he rightfully observed, poor qualifying times are the hiccup that set the unfortunate string of events in motion.

Helmut feels no need to replace the driver who has gotten as high as second-best on driver standing this season. After all no driver wants to go up against Verstappen as a teammate, those who have failed. Perez is next best, and being number two to the number one, and a GOAT in the making may not such a bad thing.

In other words: if the RBR driver line-up ain’t broken, why ‘fix’ it?