Christian Horner Gives Verdict on Possibility of Sergio Perez Replacement for 2025

Christian Horner Gives Verdict on Possibility of Sergio Perez Replacement for 2025
IMAGO / PanoramiC

Since 2023, Sergio Perez has been subject to a plethora of rumors suggesting that Red Bull might be looking to replace him. Failing to keep up with Max Verstappen, there was even a doubt around the possibility of him finishing in P2 in the drivers’ standings. However, the Mexican driver has had a much better start to the 2024 season, securing three P2 finishes in four races. Taking note of the same, team principal Christian Horner details the impact of Perez’s performance on his plans for the team.

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Things were positive for Perez after the first two races in Bahrain and Jeddah. However, once he was the only Red Bull driver on the track (in Australia), Perez failed to break into the top 3. Fresh rumors arose of Horner wanting to do away with Perez as he lacked a ‘take-charge’ attitude. Then, the Guadalajara-born driver turned things around once again in Japan, securing a P2 finish. An 8-second lead over Carlos Sainz (who finished p3) led to the rumors dying down.

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The doubts around Perez are currently on the down low, as Horner claimed it was still too early in the season to rush a decision. He added that while Perez remains a priority, Red Bull will still wait for a few more races before reaching a decision. Total Motorsport quoted Horner,

“Checo needs to just keep doing what he’s doing. The whole driver market seems to be very early this year, everybody seems to be rushing around and we’re only four races into the year. So I think we’re not in any huge rush and obviously there’s a significant amount of interest in our cars as you’d expect but Checo has the priority and it’s going to be a few more races yet before we start to think about next year.”

Regardless, Perez has his work cut out for him. As evident by the scrutiny after his poor performance in Melbourne, Perez will be put under pressure every time he doesn’t live up to Red Bull’s standards. In case the Mexican gets sacked, Red Bull will have a list of replacements ready.

Red Bull have viable Sergio Perez alternatives

Right off the bat, Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz are ready replacements for Perez. Both drivers are out of contract in 2025 and have the necessary resume to be appropriate replacements for the Mexican driver. Alonso is a two-time former world champion and has a personality similar to Verstappen. It might allow the drivers to get along well and fetch strong race weekends for their team.

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Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz is the only non-Red Bull driver to win a race in 2023 and 2024 (so far). Hence, Red Bull might want to bring him on board. Not only will it lead to Verstappen having to push himself more, but it will also allow the Austrian team to secure a long-term partnership with the Spanish driver.

Furthermore, the need to replace Perez might be high in 2025 should he fail to prove his dependability. There is a high likelihood of the field getting a lot more competitive in 2025, and Red Bull would want to sport the best lineup on the grid. Additionally, Perez will run out of a contract at the end of this season, and there is yet to be any development in his contract negotiations.

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