Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has cast doubt over Sergio Perez’s title aspirations in 2023, believing no driver can challenge Max Verstappen at the team.
Perez has set his sights on challenging for the F1 title next year, having been beaten convincingly by Verstappen across the last two years.
Verstappen has taken back-to-back titles in 2021 and 2022, winning 25 out of the 44 races (57 per cent) in that time.
Perez, meanwhile, has achieved three race wins at Red Bull in the same stint.
While Marko highlighted Perez’s ability to challenge at certain events, he says that he fails to see the Mexican challenge Verstappen across an entire season.
“Checo can certainly win a race or two,” Marko told Bild.
“But at the moment I don’t see that he can challenge Max for a whole season. In general, I don’t see that anyone can currently do this.”
Perez secured two grand prix victories in 2022, coming out on top in the street events in Monaco and Singapore.
Red Bull enjoyed a dominant campaign, winning 17 races during the season en route to sealing both championships.
But the success came following a brief period of woe at the start of the 2022 season as it suffered multiple reliability concerns in the opening races.
“We want to be similarly dominant in 2023, and even if it is very difficult, there is always room for improvement,” Marko said.
“[We need] improvements in terms of reliability. In the first three races, we retired three times due to technical defects.
“In Brazil, the set-up wasn’t right. We had an exceptional season [but] not everything was perfect.
“We still need a perfect day to beat Mercedes and Ferrari.”