Red Bull reiterates 'intention' to keep Perez despite rampant rumours

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Red Bull has reiterated their "intention" to keep Sergio Perez alongside Max Verstappen in 2024.

Formula 1's rumour mill has been in overdrive for months regarding Checo's future amid a dramatic dip in performance in a car that has been dominant in the hands of his three-time world champion teammate.

Perez's situation got even worse at his home race in Mexico last weekend as Daniel Ricciardo, the main rival for his seat, beat him in qualifying before an all-or-nothing move at Turn 1 ended in a crash and a Lap 1 retirement.

Perez Start MexGP

And then, just when the speculation couldn't get any crazier, a string of tweets from F1 reporters Albert Fabrega and Will Buxton post-race triggered a wild theory that Fernando Alonso could be ready to replace Sergio at Red Bull for 2024.

But publicly at least, motorsport advisor Helmut Marko insists there is no plan to drop the Mexican.

“How many times do I have to repeat this? Checo has a contract for 2024 and that will happen," he told Sky Italia.

“He had a super weekend until the first lap of the race and I am convinced that he would have been on the podium [without the collision].”

Red Bull boss Christian Horner also played down the significance of Perez's latest setback.

“I think it was a tough moment for him,” he said.

“It’s in front of his home crowd. He’s very emotional. I just said to him ‘You’re going for the lead in your home race. You wouldn’t be a racing driver if you weren’t going for it’.

“So it’s a big loss for him today here with, obviously, a car that was capable of being on the podium.

“He’s got three races now to convert that second place. There are 20 points between him and Lewis [Hamilton].

"He’s had some misfortune and he’s had some issues, but we still believe he can do it between now and the end of the year.”

It had also been suggested that Perez could lose his seat if he doesn't finish second in the Drivers' Championship, with 20 points between himself and Hamilton in third.


But again Horner insisted that was not the case.

“It’s not as binary as that. You’ve got to look at the circumstances, and so on,” he said.

“Checo [Perez] has an agreement with us for next year and that’s our intention for him to be in the car in 2024.

“But we’ll give him all the support that we can, to ensure that he finishes second but there’s no prerequisite that, if he doesn’t finish second, he’s out.”