Red Bull said it would ‘be crazy’ to drop Sergio Perez for Pierre Gasly for the F1 seat in 2023

Sergio Perez and Pierre Gasly are both competing for the second Red Bull seat in 2023. (Photo: Mark Thompson / Getty Images)

‘It would be madness’ for Red Bull Racing to drop the shapely Sergio Perez for AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly at the end of the 2022 Formula 1 season, according to ex-F1 engineer Kees van de Grint.

The second Red Bull seat along with main driver Max Verstappen is unoccupied for 2023, as things stand, with Perez’s contract expiring at the end of this year. A renewal with the 32-year-old or promotion for Gasly are the only two realistic options for the Milton Keynes-based team.

Perez joined Red Bull in a shock shift from Racing Point ahead of the 2021 campaign, replacing the dumped Alexander Albon after the Thai-British driver endured a tough campaign as Verstappen’s teammate in 2020.

The Mexican was unable to match Verstappen’s pace last season, but crucially helped the Dutchman secure his first World Cup by producing a number of solid team-focused performances, including an excellent defense against Lewis Hamilton at the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which helped his teammate catch the Mercedes driver.

Gasly, meanwhile, drove earlier for Red Bull in the first half of the 2019 season, but was relegated back to sister team AlphaTauri in favor of Albon after being completely run out of Verstappen.

Since returning to the Faenza-based squad, the 26-year-old has garnered consistent praise for regularly qualifying his car among the frontrunners and delivering impressive race results, including taking his first victory with a stunning drive at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix at. Monza.

However, this season has started in a more difficult way for the Frenchman, where the AlphaTauri car seems to have fallen a little further down the midfield order and is suffering from reliability issues. Gasly is currently 12th in the drivers’ standings, four points behind teammate Yuki Tsunoda.

Perez has started the campaign in an impressive form and is number three in the championship, five points behind Verstappen in second place and 32 behind Charles Leclerc from Ferrari. For Van de Grint, those kind of results make Red Bull’s decision easy.

“If Perez continues to perform as he does now, it would be insane to replace him,” Van de Grint told Formula1News.

Pierre Gasly and Sergio Perez compete for the same Red Bull tour in 2023. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST / AFP via Getty Images)

‘You have to be honest enough to say that he is a bit slower than Verstappen, who is clearly number one. It’s very clear who the boss is, but Perez has done a fantastic job and they are a great team. ‘

Red Bull’s early season has been compromised by reliability issues, with Perez and Verstappen both withdrawing at the opening in Bahrain before Verstappen again suffered a mechanical failure in Australia.

The fifth round of the 2022 F1 season takes place in Florida, with the inaugural Miami Grand Prix set for the weekend of 6-8. May.

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