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Horner and Perez

Horner clears up rumours surrounding Perez 2024 seat

Red Bull Team Prinicple, Christian Horner recently addressed rumours that Sergio Perez's future at the team may be in jeoprady, doubling down on the Mexican driver dispelling any talk he may not have his seat in the 2024 season

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In a candid response to recent speculations about the future of Sergio Perez, Red Bull Team Principal, Christian Horner, has put to bed the recent rumours surrounding a possible switch-up, clarifying that the Mexican driver is still firmly in their plans for the 2024 season.

Sergio Perez collides with Charles Leclerc during the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. (Photo by Song Haiyuan/MB Media/Getty Images)

Sergio Perez has been unable to match teammate Max Verstappen throughout the 2023 season. After winning the first two-races, Perez has yet to stand on the top step of the podium again and his on-track performance has prompted rumours about his future at Red Bull. The rumours gained traction following Perez’s struggles alongside Verstappen despite the Mexican having a contract in place.

Rumours Ousted Fully

Speculation surrounding Perez’s future at the team intensified after the Mexico City Grand Prix when Christian Horner stated that it was the team’s “intention” to retain Perez for the next season. The use of such specific terms often carries a hidden meaning, igniting further scrutiny. However, Horner has emphasized that there was no ambiguity in his choice of words and affirmed Perez’s place in the team for 2024. Speaking in the post-race discussions in Mexico, Horner said:

“Checo has an agreement with us for next year, and that’s our intention, for him to be in the car in 2024. We’ll give him all the support we can to ensure that he finishes second [in the drivers’ championship], but there’s no prerequisite that if he doesn’t finish second, you’re out.”

When asked by Autosport in Brazil about the significance of using the word “intention,” Horner clarified that Perez’s position was secure, barring unforeseen circumstances beyond the team’s control. He expressed confidence in Perez’s continuity, citing the team’s clear plan for the upcoming season. Horner clarified saying:

“I am absolutely confident and clear that Checo will be our driver next year. Now, if he was injured or something like that, there are circumstances beyond our control.

“But the clear plan and, therefore, the clear intention is that he will continue. We’re planning to continue. We have announced the AlphaTauri drivers, we have our Red Bull racing drivers. That is how we intend to go racing in 2024.”

Horner Doubles Down on Perez Backing

Despite a shaky last six races for the Red Bull driver, which saw him retire both in Japan and his home race in Mexico as well as finishing 10th in Qatar and P8 in Singapore, Horner maintained that the speculation had not affected the team’s internal dynamics. He asserted that the team’s focus remained unwavering, despite external noise.

“It hasn’t because it’s only noise on the outside. On the inside, everything is always clear,” Horner remarked, dispelling any notion that the ongoing rumours had impacted the team’s cohesion.

Acknowledging the possibility that Perez might be affected by the speculation, Horner praised the driver’s resilience and ability to handle such external pressures. He said:

“I’m sure it does. But I think what we’ve seen with him, and one of his strengths is, he has a very thick skin. Many times he’s picked himself up, brushed himself and got back up again. So hopefully he’s doing the same now.”

There are only two races left of the season and Perez is in the fight for P2 in the championship. His rival is Lewis Hamilton, but after Brazil, Perez was able to extend his gap over the seven-time world champion and is looking to secure P2 for Red Bull.

Headline image: GettyImages

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