Red Bull will not discuss a 2022 contract with Sergio Perez or any other driver until Formula One’s summer break at the earliest.
Perez replaced Alex Albon on a one-year deal this season but has been slow getting up to speed. He has less than half the points of Red Bull teammate and championship leader Max Verstappen after five races.
Red Bull is in no rush to decide whether Perez is a longer-term option than just one season.
“We’ll start thinking about it in the summer at the earliest,” team advisor Helmut Marko told Formel1.de.
“We are a very sought-after partner on the driver market. I don’t think a driver will enter into negotiations or a deal with any other team until he has tried to come to an agreement with us.
“We are now fully focused on the world championship, and we don’t see any problem there in terms of who will be Max Verstappen’s teammate next year.
“It will certainly be a competitive guy. But there is still time.”
Perez, one of the grid’s most experienced drivers and the winner of last year’s Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain, was brought in after young drivers Pierre Gasly and Albon struggled alongside Verstappen.
Marko said Perez has shown glimpses of matching Verstappen so far.
“Let’s start with the positive, that’s the race performance.
“It’s very good, sometimes at Max’s level. He proved that in Monte Carlo when we went for the overcut. That was three or four laps where he drove the fastest laps overall, with already very used tyres. So the race pace is there.
“The area where we’re still lacking is in qualifying. We need to see an improvement there.”