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F1 Stirs McLaren Pushes Lawson Pressure on Perez

McLaren Turns Heat Up on Perez, Urges Lawson’s Rise

11/07/2024

McLaren F1 is ramping up the pressure on Sergio Perez, with growing calls to elevate Liam Lawson before the Hungarian GP.

Media pressure continues on Sergio Perez ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix as Liam Lawson tested the Red Bull RB20 behind closed doors at Silverstone yesterday during a filming day (limited to 200 kilometers).

Despite his recent contract extension, the Mexican’s position alongside Max Verstappen remains uncertain due to performance clauses, given the magnitude of his current slump.

Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren, even senses an opportunity to beat Red Bull for the constructors’ world title.

“Sergio is underperforming, and it presents us with an opportunity.”

However, when asked whether discussions within his team were ongoing about their real chances of success, Brown responded, “I think we’re all talking about it. Not just us. I think we all went to Bahrain and said, ‘Well, the championship is done for Red Bull’.”

“It will be epic. Mercedes seems to be very competitive now. Ferrari is there, with two races in Monaco, Charles won and they say they have figured out what was wrong with their upgrades.”

“So, it feels like four different teams are all going to win races in the second half of the year. So that’s quite awesome – it’s a shame the season doesn’t start now.”

Former Haas F1 boss, Gunther Steiner, agrees that the risk is real for Red Bull.

“McLaren now has a good car, two good drivers, and at Red Bull, they have to be careful about who is following them,” he told French channel Canal Plus.

“Red Bull has never been afraid to make such big decisions of replacing a driver mid-season. It’s clear that Perez doesn’t deserve his place.”

Two former Formula 1 drivers have pointed out the driver who, in their opinion, should replace Sergio Perez at Red Bull.

Christijan Albers thinks that in the context of power struggles and turmoil at Red Bull this year, renewing Perez was a “panic move” designed solely “to please Max Verstappen.”

“But the competition is tighter now, so those five or six tenths per lap hurt. He’s now even outside the top ten.”

Another former driver, Giedo van der Garde, thinks the turning point in Perez’s fate could be when Verstappen publicly declares he needs a better teammate.

“He will say: ‘Sergio is not doing well, and it’s important that we become constructors’ champions, so put someone else in his place.'”

Daniel Ricciardo has been named as a potential replacement for Perez, but he has struggled to match his teammate Yuki Tsunoda this year – who does not appear to be a major candidate for a promotion at Red Bull Racing.

“There is actually only one simple choice,” according to Van der Garde. “Not Ricciardo, as he’s still underperforming compared to Tsunoda. Ricciardo should finish his year and do something else after.”

“I say, just put Liam Lawson. He’s a rookie, and he can still learn a lot from Max. No one expects much from him because he’s still a rookie.”

“Max gets along well with Lawson, and he also doesn’t pose a threat to Max. So why not put him?”

Albers agrees: “Just put Lawson in the Red Bull. What do they have to lose? They’re already out of the top 10 with Perez anyway.”

F1 Stirs: McLaren Pushes Lawson Pressure on Perez F1 Stirs: McLaren Pushes Lawson Pressure on Perez

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