Sergio Perez and Christian Horner discuss Red Bull driver’s F1 future as contract runs out at end of 2024 | F1 News

Sergio Perez believes he will have clarity over his F1 future “in a month” but team principal Christian Horner says Red Bull are “not in a huge rush” to finalise their 2025 driver line-up.

Perez is one of 12 drivers without a contract for next year but has enjoyed a strong start to the season with three second places from four races, with his latest podium coming at Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.

The Mexican came into the season under pressure to keep his seat after a largely disappointing second half of 2023, where he was often a long way off Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso are among the drivers out of contract at the end of this year and both have been linked to Red Bull.

However, Perez is seemingly doing all he can to keep his seat alongside Verstappen, whose current deal expires in 2028.

“I’m very relaxed about it. It’s my 14th season in F1. Whatever comes next, I’m really pleased with what I’ve done in the sport so far and I believe it will be a matter of time,” Perez told Sky Sports F1.

“The driver market is moving and the next few weeks, there will be a lot of movement for sure. I expect in a month to really know what I’m doing next year.”

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Ted Kravitz is in the paddock to review all the biggest stories from the Japanese Grand Prix.

Horner: Few more races before we think about 2025

Perez qualified just 0.066s behind pole-sitter Verstappen before coming through nicely in the race on a two-stop strategy where he needed to overtake several cars.

His two moves on the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell at the fast left-hand flick of 130R were the highlights on his way to second place.

Daniel Ricciardo’s disappointing start to the season at RB, Red Bull’s sister team, has certainly helped Perez’s chances of keeping his seat, and Horner says his driver needs to “keep up what he’s doing”.

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Daniel Ricciardo and Alex Albon tangle on turn three of the opening lap causing a red flag at the Japanese Grand Prix.

“The whole driver market seems to be very early this year,” said Horner.

“Everybody seems to be rushing around and we’re only four races into the year. We are not in a huge rush and obviously there’s a significant amount of interest in our cars, as you would expect.

“Checo has the priority and it’s going to be a few more races yet before we start to think about next year.”

Perez hasn’t won a race since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix 12 months ago, with Verstappen winning 20 races in that time.

Red Bull’s three one-twos from the opening four events have given them a 21-point lead in the Constructors’ Championship over Ferrari.

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Lewis Hamilton loses two grid places as he’s overtaken by Lando Norris and Sergio Perez, back to back.

If Ferrari can get closer or on par with Red Bull later in the season, Perez’s performances will be crucial for the team to secure their third consecutive constructors’ title.

Horner had said at the Australian Grand Prix in March that “sometimes you’ve got to look outside the pool as well” when discussing who will be Verstappen’s team-mate in 2025 but at Suzuka he showed clear support for Perez, who is “very popular” in the team according to the Red Bull boss.

“It’s his seat to lose. He’s doing a great job and qualified within a tenth of a second from Max. It was by far his best qualifying performance around at Suzuka,” Horner added to Sky Sports F1.

“You can see his confidence is growing. His performance in the race, again, was very strong. He’s doing exactly what was needed of him.”

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Max Verstappen believes Red Bull will be able to do even better as the season progresses, following his win in Japan.

Horner reveals losing bet to Perez – who owed Ecclestone

Perez had his best qualifying in nearly a year when he started second on Sunday to give Red Bull their first front row lockout since the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Horner revealed he had a bet with Perez to get onto the front row, which the Mexican won by qualifying second.

“I had a bet with him because his best qualifying performance had been P4 here, so I had a bet with him to put it on the front row,” he said.

“Somehow, having won the bet, he told me he owed Bernie Ecclestone exactly the same amount of money, so has passed the bet onto Bernie, who was the beneficiary of Checo’s front row. So dear old Bernie is still making money, whilst not even being here!”

Next up is the return of the Chinese Grand Prix on April 19-21, which is also the first Sprint weekend of the season. You can watch every session live on Sky Sports F1 and steam every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime

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