The question on still on plenty of influential people’s lips: Should Sergio Perez continue as Max Verstappen’s wingman, or is it time for a new challenger to step into the Red Bull cockpit?
This intrigue is not just idle paddock chatter. The narrative gained momentum following the Mexican’s evident struggles during the 2023 season – even after his thrilling wheel-to-wheel showdown at Interlagos recently. German racing legend Hans-Joachim Stuck did not mince words when speaking to Eurosport about Perez’s performance. “Alonso found a much faster line,” Stuck noted, referring to Fernando Alonso’s superior tactics during the duel. He then bluntly questioned Perez’s acumen: “Perez didn’t copy it. Is he stupid? Is he blind? With all his skills, he’s really not worth the money.”
Stuck, a veteran of the F1 world, sees in Alonso the potential to revolutionize Red Bull’s lineup. “The way Alonso drives and competes is largely flawless and it moves a team forward,” he asserted. While Alonso and Red Bull have dismissed the swirling rumors of a 2024 partnership, Stuck remains intrigued by the possibility. “The rumours are there. And I think it would be great if Alonso was put in that car,” he said, highlighting Alonso’s new blend of motivation, enjoyment, and maturity in the sport.
Meanwhile, former F1 driver Timo Glock casts his eye on other potential candidates to shake up the Red Bull dynamic. Speaking to WSM Casino, Glock expressed his interest in seeing Nico Hulkenberg or Alexander Albon given a shot at the top-tier team. “It would be interesting to see one of those guys compete against Verstappen so we can see what they could do,” he mused.
But the intrigue doesn’t end with Red Bull. Glock also speculates on the future of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who might be reevaluating his prospects with the iconic Italian team. “Either the package isn’t quite right or there are too many mistakes in the team,” Glock observed, pointing to the critical next season as a decisive moment for Leclerc’s career trajectory. “He will certainly be asking himself whether he can ever have a real chance of fighting for the world championship crown with Ferrari.”