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IN NUMBERS: How Perez compares to the other 11 drivers to have turned out for Red Bull

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While the upcoming F1 season is yet to get underway, talk has already turned to the driver market for 2025 in light of the seismic move by Lewis Hamilton to switch to Ferrari. With a vacancy at Mercedes to play for – and other seats in the field yet to be confirmed – several drivers will be feeling the pressure to prove themselves in 2024.

Amongst these will be Sergio Perez, now entering into his fourth year at Red Bull, and with questions remaining over his future.

READ MORE: Perez's goal is to make it work at Red Bull – but there are plenty of seats available on the grid for 2025

The Mexican started the 2023 season in strong form, having claimed two race wins in the opening rounds of the championship. However, he endured struggles as the year progressed and did not claim another victory, while team mate Max Verstappen surged to a record-breaking 19 race wins en route to his third World Championship.

This has left Perez’s position within the team uncertain. The 34-year-old is determined to bounce back in 2024, while the areas in which he needs to improve in order to keep his job for 2025 have been set out for him.

MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 15: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, here at the launch of the RB20, will be team mates for a fourth season in 2024

Having said that, Perez’s ability to cope with the challenging task of being Verstappen’s team mate has been praised. A look at the recent past would back this, given that Perez’s two predecessors – Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon – did not last as long in the seat.

This got us wondering – how does Perez stack up in comparison to the 11 other drivers who have raced for Red Bull since the team launched in 2005? Well, we’ve delved into the statistics to answer that question.

As is the case with examining any aspect of Formula 1 history, it should be noted that many things have changed in the sport in those 19 years. The points system is now more generous, while the regulations have undergone numerous developments. Nonetheless, the figures make for interesting reading…

READ MORE: Perez hails ‘brave’ Red Bull for inspired car development ahead of 2024 season

Race starts

A good place to begin is to look at the number of races each driver in Red Bull’s history has entered for the team. Perez is currently sixth in the list with 66 under his belt, and is on course to overtake David Coulthard – one of the squad’s original drivers back in 2005 – during the early stages of the 2024 season.

He will not quite, however, surpass the 100 races amassed by Daniel Ricciardo, the man who has been touted as a potential replacement for Perez should the Mexican fail to deliver in the year ahead.

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Six drivers sit behind Perez in the list. Along with the aforementioned Albon and Gasly – who achieved 26 and 12 race starts respectively for Red Bull – Christian Klien took part in 28 Grands Prix and shared his seat with Vitantonio Liuzzi (four races) and Robert Doornbos (three races) in 2005 and 2006.

Daniil Kyvat, meanwhile, competed in 21 races for the team before making way for a certain Max Verstappen – Red Bull’s longest-serving driver – in 2016. And the rest there is history…

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Race wins

Out of these 12 drivers, only five have won a race whilst driving for Red Bull. Unsurprisingly, Verstappen sits at the top of this list on 54 victories, 16 ahead of fellow world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Perez has achieved five Grand Prix wins in his career with the team, but this is a category where he could feasibly climb up the rankings. He needs just two more to equal Ricciardo in the list, a goal that statistically seems possible given the two victories he achieved in 2023. However, Perez would need to add an additional two wins to this in order to match Mark Webber, who won on nine occasions for Red Bull.

It is worth noting that the calendar has continued to expand in recent years, meaning that the season is longer and features more races, thus providing the opportunity for more wins.

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Podiums

When it comes to podiums, eight Red Bull drivers have stood on the rostrum over the years, with the first being Coulthard’s memorable third place at the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix. He followed this up with a second P3 in Canada two years later in what proved to be the final season of his F1 career.

Numbers-wise, Perez is fifth on the list with 25 podiums, though his percentage of top-three finishes is higher than that of Webber and Ricciardo, who each achieved 41 and 29 podiums in their respective stints with the team.

This is surely another area in which Perez could move himself up the rankings in 2024.

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Points scored

As previously mentioned, changes in the points system over the years make this a difficult category to judge, particularly in terms of drivers who raced in the team’s early days where fewer points were on offer.

Again, Verstappen is an unsurprising name at the top of the list on a staggering 2524.5 points during his Red Bull career, with Vettel his closest challenger on 1577.

While Perez again sits fifth in the table, his average points score is 11.82, putting him slightly ahead of Webber and Ricciardo. The Mexican has scored 780 points for the team so far, and needs to add 176 to his tally in order to match Ricciardo. With his total in 2023 being 285, this again seems like a feasible goal.

EXCLUSIVE: Red Bull’s Pierre Wache on the team’s 2024 – ‘We didn't do an amazing job last year’

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Pole positions

This was an achievement that eluded Perez for some time. He scored his first pole position – not only with Red Bull but of his F1 career to date – at the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

He repeated this feat at the same event one year later, as well as adding a third pole to his total in Miami. Perez sits equal with Ricciardo in this category, but would need 10 more to match Webber’s 13 pole positions.

Interestingly, 10 years on from his final season with the team, Vettel is still the driver to have clinched the most poles with Red Bull, having done this on 44 occasions. Verstappen will equal this should he claim P1 on the grid a further 12 times with the squad – and, given his recent run of breaking records, this doesn't seem unlikely.

READ MORE: ‘What just happened?’ – Verstappen and Lambiase recall their dramatic first F1 race win together

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Fastest laps

Six of Red Bull’s 12 drivers have set a fastest lap whilst racing for the team, and Perez has done so on seven occasions. An interesting stat here is that, percentage-wise, he is practically equal with Gasly, who only competed in 12 Grands Prix for the squad but managed to set the fastest lap in two of those weekends.

Perez needs a further six fastest laps in order to match Ricciardo’s 13, while Verstappen is a distant leader at the top of the rankings on 30.

READ MORE: Button picks team who are 'most likely' to challenge Red Bull in 2024

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Other statistics of note

As highlighted earlier, the sport has undergone various changes since Red Bull’s arrival in 2005, meaning that certain areas pose more difficulties in terms of drawing comparisons between drivers.

One key difference has been the introduction of the Sprint in 2021, the same season in which Perez joined the Milton Keynes outfit. Of the 12 Sprint events that have taken place in the time since, Verstappen has achieved more victories than any other driver by winning seven, while Perez has been victorious just once during his successful weekend at the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. He has four Sprint podiums to his name, and Verstappen holds 11.

READ MORE: 10 years since Daniel Ricciardo’s first Red Bull spell – the Australian’s rollercoaster F1 journey since

Speaking of Baku, Red Bull are the most successful team at the track and – while it is a relatively new addition to the calendar, having joined under the European Grand Prix title in 2016 before becoming the Azerbaijan Grand Prix one year later – Perez is statistically the driver to have achieved the most wins at the circuit, having taken victory twice. This puts him ahead of Verstappen and Ricciardo, who have each won at the venue on one occasion.

Another track at which Perez has a better standing in the statistics than Verstappen is the Marina Bay Street Circuit, host of the Singapore Grand Prix. Perez achieved the third win of his Red Bull career at the venue in 2022, while Verstappen has yet to stand on the top spot of the podium. Perez is not the most successful Red Bull driver on the streets of Singapore, though – this accolade goes to Vettel, who won on three occasions whilst racing for the team.

And with the Jeddah Corniche Circuit having only joined the calendar in 2021, Perez – known for his prowess at street tracks – is currently equal with Verstappen on one race win each.

The big question that remains is whether Perez can add to these statistics in 2024, as those numbers could potentially prove crucial in deciding his fate for 2025…

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