May 23 (GMM) Sergio Perez is “negotiating” for a new Red Bull deal, according to former Formula 1 driver Giedo van der Garde.
Mexican Perez was vocally upset about the team’s “unfair” decision to order him to let new championship leader and teammate Max Verstappen past for the lead of the Spanish GP.
But he also vowed on the radio to discuss the matter privately.
“It’s good that he discusses everything internally,” van der Garde told Viaplay.
“If you’re Perez, you just want to sign and he’s negotiating now,” he added. “You can see that he is the number 1 there but he also just wasn’t fast enough.
“He knows his place within the team.”
Another former F1 driver, Christijan Albers, agrees: “He did a good race but he doesn’t have Max’s speed.
“As a team you have to make a choice and not lose too much time. Max is now the leader of the world championship, which is what you want as a team.
“I think it’s nonsense that Perez doesn’t think it’s fair,” said the former Minardi driver.
For his part, Red Bull top official Dr Helmut Marko said the team orders were only made because both Verstappen and Perez were on “two different strategies”.
“It was clear that Checo couldn’t have finished with his set of tyres,” he told ORF. “And with that it was very clear that Max was the faster one.
“But I can understand that he was upset – he saw victory in front of his eyes. Sergio didn’t understand that at the time but it was the best and safest option for us to get that one-two,” Marko added.
“If he asks me, I’ll explain to him in detail that there was no other solution. But of course it’s annoying in the heat of the moment.
“It’s totally understandable that he doesn’t say right away ‘I’ll wave my teammates past’. That way, he wouldn’t be a real racing driver,” Marko said.
Some believe Marko immediately consoled Perez by informing the 32-year-old that the 2023 contract he is lobbying for will indeed be offered.
“We have to clarify a few things internally, but there’s nothing I’m worried about,” Perez said after Sunday’s race.
“I can only say that the atmosphere and momentum in the team are unprecedented.”