Helmut Marko has revealed when Sergio Perez put pen-to-paper and officially signed a new contract at Red Bull.
In the days after Perez’s Monaco Grand Prix victory, Red Bull confirmed that he had signed a new deal to take him to the end of the 2024 season.
However, it became apparent that a deal had already been agreed prior to the Monaco race.
Moments after taking the chequered flag, Perez was overheard commenting to Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner: “I probably signed too early.”
When asked about the timing of Perez’s new contract, team advisor Marko revealed when exactly the agreement was reached.
“On the Friday before the Monaco Grand Prix, we gave him a contract extension,” he told Austrian outlet, OE24.
“He was extra motivated after this. It’s very nice to have this duo of drivers. We’ve already recorded five wins this year.”
Pressure on Ferrari rather than Red Bull, says Marko
Perez’s first win of the season has also brought him into early championship contention.
The Mexican is now just 15 points adrift of teammate Max Verstappen, who currently leads the rankings by nine points from Charles Leclerc.
When quizzed on the increasing challenge from Perez on Verstappen’s championship advantage, Marko argued that any pressure should be on Ferrari, and not the Red Bull drivers.
“Max remains calm. He has enough self-confidence. They [Ferrari] are under pressure,” Marko said.
“Charles Leclerc has had a hard time with that and mistakes are made, but that’s racing. In Monaco, we forced Ferrari to react to our pit-stop strategy. They reacted wrong.”