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Horner: 2025 Red Bull seat Perez's to lose

Horner: 2025 Red Bull seat is Perez’s to lose

Horner: 2025 Red Bull seat Perez's to lose

Christian Horner declared the other Red Bull Racing seat alongside Max Verstappen for the 2025 Formula 1 season is Sergio Perez’s to lose.

After his fluctuating 2023 F1 season, Perez’s future at Red Bull was under question as he struggled for form despite starting the campaign with two wins in Jeddah and Baku.

Perez’s contract with Red Bull runs until the end of the 2024 F1 season, and Red Bull have honored it, while for 2025 the team is open for options, with Daniel Ricciardo lurking at AlphaTauri ready to pounce.

Horner insists nothing is set in stone for 2025, and told Sky Sports F1: “Of course everything is open for 2025 onwards. For us, to have options internally and also externally is no bad place to be.”

But he insisted Perez will be prioritized given he delivers. Quoted by Motorsport.com, he added: “I think the luxury position we’re in, is that we’re not in any rush. We’ve got loads of options and I think it is Checo’s seat to lose.

“He’s the one that we’re backing,” the Briton stressed. “He’s our 2024 driver. And if he does a great job next year, there’s no reason that we wouldn’t extend him into 2025. But it’d be purely based on what he achieves over what will be a large part of the season.”

Red Bull need the two cars closer in 2024

The Red Bull boss recently said the team are not expecting or even demanding Perez beats Verstappen, but they just need him to qualify closer to the top, especially as more competition is expected in 2024, which means the team cannot rely on on Verstappen to score points. Both drivers need to contribute.

“I think that being Max’s team-mate is tough, and I think that you’ve got to have a certain resolve and character to be prepared to go up against Max,” Horner said. “But as the field converges, it is inevitable that you want your two cars as close together as you can achieve.

“With Checo, his race pace and his racing, has been very strong on many occasions. It’s his performance in qualifying that is probably the area that he needs to focus on over the winter.

“But he’s acutely aware that he’s got to up his qualifying average, so that he’s not having to come from so far back,” the 50-year-old concluded.

Big Question: Will Perez retain his Red Bull seat in 2025?