Former Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button believes Red Bull will have to replace Sergio Perez if he does not improve his poor form.

Perez failed to score points for the third time in five races after he finished 17th at the British Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Mexican beached his car in qualifying at Silverstone and started from the pit lane, but a strategy gamble to go onto intermediates early during the race did not pay off.

Speculation around Perez’s future at Red Bull ramped up across the Silverstone weekend amid suggestions that the next two races which take F1 into its summer break, Hungary and Belgium, could be pivotal for the 34-year-old to find a way out of his slump in form.

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Sergio Perez says it ‘hurts’ to let the team down after going out in Q1 at the British GP.

“It’s a massive issue. This was just a terrible weekend. He was unlucky in some ways as well. This won’t happen every weekend,” Button told Sky Sports F1 at the end of the British GP.

“They are on the backfoot. Perez needs to be scoring some points at least, even if he’s not finishing right behind Max.”

Perez has just 15 points to his name from the last six events, while Verstappen has racked up 119, including three wins.

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Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz were forced to retire their cars after they both suffered separate crashes at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Button understands the pressure of driving for a top team but says changes will be made if Perez doesn’t improve.

“They can’t let it go on forever. If at the next race he doesn’t score points again, soon enough, they will have to get him out of the car and put someone else in,” he continued.

“It’s not a nice feeling for a driver. It’s tough. For a driver it’s horrible but for them the constructors’ is important.”

Sergio Perez’s 2024 results

Event Qualifying Race
Bahrain 5th 2nd
Saudi Arabia 3rd 2nd
Australia 6th 5th
Japan 2nd 2nd
China 2nd 3rd
Miami 4th 4th
Imola 11th 8th
Monaco 16th DNF
Canada 16th DNF
Spain 11th 8th
Austria 8th 7th
Britain 19th 17th

Horner: Perez knows form is unsustainable

Perez signed a new two-year contract last month ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, where he was eliminated in Q1 and crashed in the race.

Despite having a deal until the end of 2026, there are understood to be performance clauses in the contract.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told Sky Sports F1 during Perez’s difficult weekend in Austria the week before the British GP that “of course, there’s always pressure to perform and that is irrelevant of contracts”.

Speaking on Sunday evening after Perez’s struggles continued at Silverstone, Horner stated: “He knows it’s unsustainable to not be scoring points.

“We have to be scoring points in that car.

“He knows his role and target. Nobody is more eager than Checo to find his form again.”

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Christian Horner answers a ‘brutally hard’ question in Austria concerning Sergio Perez’s extended contract with Red Bull following the Mexican’s drop in form in recent races.

Red Bull have been pushed hard by McLaren and Mercedes in recent events, with Verstappen left alone to fight at the front.

The Milton Keynes-based team are 71 points in front of Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship and 78 points ahead of McLaren, who are set to be the biggest threat to Red Bull.

Mistakes from McLaren mean Red Bull still have a healthy advantage going into the second half of the season, but the gap could quickly close, particularly if Perez is not near the front.

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Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz reflects on the British Grand Prix.

“Of course there’s frustration when both of your cars aren’t performing collectively. It was frustrating to lose Checo in Q1,” said Horner.

“We felt he should have been around the top six but to lose that car was very frustrating.”

He added: “It’s something we are very acutely aware of. To win the constructors’ we need both drivers.”

Lawson to test 2024 Red Bull car this week

Speculation over Perez’s future comes as it emerged Red Bull test and reserve driver Liam Lawson will conduct a filming day in their 2024 car at Silverstone this week.

Lawson has been on the sidelines this year, despite impressing in the five race weekends he substituted for Daniel Ricciardo at Red Bull’s sister team RB, then known as AlphaTauri, last year.

Although Horner has said that Lawson’s run in the current RB20 had been planned for some time and was not in reaction to anything else, a run in F1’s championship-leading car undoubtedly gives the 22-year-old New Zealander a chance to again show his capabilities amid the fresh uncertainty around not only Perez’s future but Ricciardo’s too.

Ricciardo has yet to have his contract renewed for 2025 at RB whereas team-mate Yuki Tsunoda has. Tsunoda took his sixth top-10 result of the season at Silverstone, while Ricciardo has scored points twice this year.

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Race highlights from Silverstone for the British Grand Prix.

Asked why Tsunoda appears to not be in the running to replace Perez, Horner said: “Yuki is a Red Bull Racing driver. He’s on a Red Bull Racing contract and we re-signed him because he’s been performing well. So we’re very aware of his performances.”

Next up for F1 is the Hungarian Grand Prix from Budapest on July 19-21. You can watch every session live on Sky Sports F1. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime