Check out the top headlines from another busy day in the world of Formula 1 as the aftermath of the Qatar Grand Prix approaches.
In another ‘shock’ for Sergio Perez, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko warned of three drivers waiting in the wings, while Max Verstappen focused on conditions and ordered three stops in Qatar.
All this and more, so let’s get straight to the action…
Helmut Marko increases the pressure on Sergio Perez
For the second race weekend in a row, Perez experienced what Red Bull team principal Christian Horner described as “shocking”.
Perez has a contract until the end of F1 2024, but while Marko says Red Bull wants to honor that, Daniel Ricciardo, Yuki Tsunoda and Liam Lawson are waiting to attack if Perez’s position becomes untenable.
“Generally, we want to implement a contract situation that will last until 2024. And now it depends only on him,” Marko told ORF.
“But in AlphaTauri we have three relatively good drivers.”
Read more: Helmut Marko takes another shot at Sergio Perez, with “three drivers” waiting in line.
Max Verstappen makes two new demands on F1
While Pirelli tires were a big concern in Qatar, drivers felt the heat during Sunday’s Grand Prix, with several requiring a trip to a medical center due to the muggy conditions.
Verstappen then believes it was “stupid” to race in such heat and wants Formula 1 to reconsider the timing of the Qatar Grand Prix, which will come after pushing the date back two months to 2024, while also believing three stops are required. Due to the presence of micro tears in the compounds, it also cannot stick.
“When it’s 40 degrees outside during the day I think it’s silly to push like that, especially with three forced stops,” he told Sky Sports.
“It’s almost like qualifying all the time, like really pushing at full speed. And that’s probably a little extreme.
Read more: Max Verstappen makes two new demands on F1 after ‘stupid’ Qatar Grand Prix
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FIA announces steps to stop repetition
Sunday’s events in Qatar did not escape the attention of the FIA, which announced that steps would be taken to prevent a repeat of these extreme racing conditions.
The FIA has confirmed an upcoming meeting in Paris to discuss potential actions, which could include “guidance for competitors, research into modifications to provide more efficient airflow in the cockpit and recommendations on changes to the calendar to adapt to acceptable climatic conditions.”
Read more: ‘Concerned’ FIA responds to Qatar GP that ‘threatens’ driver safety
Audi responds to rumors of F1 withdrawal
Taking a more long-term look at Formula 1, and specifically F1 2026, rumors have begun to emerge that this season’s new entrant may reconsider joining the team.
The team in question is Audi, which is set to partner with Sauber to create an Audi works team to operate its newly developed F1 power unit, and the German marque insists this will continue.
“Audi Formula Racing GmbH’s schedule for the expansion of the organization and development of the F1 power unit for the 2026 season at the plant in Neuburg, Germany remains unchanged,” an Audi spokesman told PlanetF1.com.
Read more: Audi responds to rumors about a shocking decision to enter F1 2026
FIA intervention necessary to keep Max Verstappen F1 great?
Red Bull boss Horner has declared that three-time world champion Verstappen should now be considered an all-time F1 great, with few disagreeing.
However, 2015 Le Mans class winner Richard Bradley believes that only when Red Bull’s dominance ends will we know how good Max Verstappen actually is.
“Red Bull won’t always have the best car and then we’ll really see how good Max Verstappen is,” Bradley said on the On Track GP podcast.
Read more: Doubts over Max Verstappen’s claims of greatness, which first required FIA intervention
Read on – Examined: F1’s lucky escape from the Qatar Grand Prix is a clear step too far
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