Red Bull picks Perez over Sainz for 2025 F1 deal

Red Bull will retain Sergio Perez as Max Verstappen's Red Bull team-mate for at least the 2025 season, ending months of speculation over his future.

Lewis Hamilton's stunning move to Ferrari has put ousted Carlos Sainz on the market for next year, and his strong start to 2024 – including winning the Australian Grand Prix while Red Bull faltered – has left team boss Christian Horner pondering whether Red Bull needs To look beyond the driver list for Verstappen's next teammate.

With Daniel Ricciardo not showing enough at Red Bull's sister team RB, and Honda rookie Yuki Tsunoda not looking like a considered option for the first team, that has left Sainz as the biggest threat to Perez's stay at Red Bull.

Perez started 2024 strong with second-place finishes in the first four races, but his form has dipped in recent weekends.

But although that drop was a turbulent last weekend in Monaco, where a Q1 exit was followed by a spin on the opening lap (albeit not of Perez's doing), it quickly emerged after the race that Red Bull had decided to commit again. To Perez.

Now Red Bull has made official confirmation of its selection, saying six-time Formula 1 race winner Perez will remain with the team.

The announcement was made with Perez signed until 2026, although Horner only said in the team's press release that it was an “important time to confirm our squad for 2025”.

This suggests that Red Bull is keeping its options open for 2026 when there will be a new formula for cars and engines, which Red Bull itself will address for the first time via its new Red Bull Powertrains division. Horner added that “continuity and stability are important for the team” and said Perez and Verstappen were a “successful and strong partnership”.

“The last few races were difficult, and there was a closeness on the grid, but we are confident in Chico and we are looking forward to him returning to the level and performance we have proven, which we see often,” Horner said.

Perez was quoted as saying that he was “happy to stay here to continue our journey together and contribute to the great history of this team for another two years.”

“Being part of the team is a huge challenge, and I love it,” he said. “We have a big challenge ahead of us this year and I have full confidence in the whole team that the future is bright here and I'm excited to be a part of it.

“I want to thank everyone for all the trust they have put in me, it's a lot of trust and I want to repay it with excellent results on and off track. I think we have a lot of work to do, and we have a lot of championships to win together.”

Perez has been with the team since Red Bull selected him for 2021 when they were forced to drop Alex Albon after he failed to get close enough to Verstappen. Perez helped Verstappen win three consecutive drivers' titles and contributed to Red Bull's constructors' championship wins in the last two editions.

Verstappen has a contract until the end of 2028 but there have been rumors of dissatisfaction with the team since the controversy surrounding Horner began earlier this year.

As for Sainz, it seems that his options in 2025 are to choose between two teams at the bottom of the standings, with Red Bull remaining with Perez and Mercedes still determined to promote its student Kimi Antonelli.

It is either Audi's future works team Sauber or Williams for 2025. Alpine has a vacancy following news of Esteban Ocon's exit at the end of the year, but a return to Enstone, where Sainz raced when he was at Renault for just over a year, does not matter. It doesn't seem like a realistic option.


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