Christian Horner has declared the future seat of Sergio Perez is “his to lose” for 2025, as he prepares for the final year of his current Red Bull deal.
The Mexican driver came under pressure in the second half of 2023 as he struggled to match the lofty heights of Max Verstappen, while his Red Bull team-mate cantered to World Championship glory.
With both Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda challenging for his seat from Red Bull’s sister team in 2024, there are challenges from within and around the grid as Perez gears up for another year alongside Verstappen, but the Red Bull team principal has backed him to succeed.
Christian Horner: Sergio Perez ‘works best when he’s under pressure’
While Horner has been vocal in his backing of Perez throughout the season, even through the struggles that saw him fall away from Verstappen in the Drivers’ standings, he made it clear that he expects Perez to take race victories in 2024 where possible.
Horner clarified that nothing is “preset” for 2025 regarding the seat alongside Verstappen, whose contract runs until 2028, but there is still a need for Perez to do all he can to keep his drive at Red Bull.
“It is, but Checo works best when he’s under pressure, that’s what I’ve seen with him in his time with us,” Horner said on Sky F1’s end-of-season review when it was put to him that 2024 represents Perez’s most important season with Red Bull.
“You know, he’s in the seat, it’s his seat to lose and I think there’s nothing preset for 2025, and we need him firing on all cylinders at 24 races next year to be scooping up the points, delivering race wins.
“Because for sure if it becomes more competitive, we can’t afford to have a big offset between him and Max.
“He’s aware of that, he knows he needs to deliver.”
This news comes off the back of one of the most dominant seasons ever seen in Formula 1, with Perez taking two victories compared to 19 for Verstappen as Red Bull only missed top spot once all season in their all-conquering RB19.
While they still hope to improve the already-excellent base of their car, the team principal explained that their rivals have more room to improve due to the stability of the regulations in Formula 1 as they stand.
“They’re all very capable teams,” Horner said of the chasing pack.
“We saw McLaren take a step forward, we saw Aston Martin emerge at the beginning of the year, we saw Mercedes occasionally looking competitive, Ferrari as well, and they’re all very, very capable teams.
“Now, with stable regulations, heading into the third year of these regs, we’re starting to hit the top of that curve and so we’re into a law of diminishing returns on the development we’re able to bring to this set of regulations.
“The others still have that scope, and I think it’s natural in a stable era that I’m sure the cars are going to look a lot like RB19s next year, and that design philosophy is going to converge and as a result, we’ll see convergence on the track.”