Christian Horner challenges Sergio Perez with Red Bull ‘not short of options’

Sam Cooper
Christian Horner speaks to Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez finished 290 points behind Max Verstappen.

Christian Horner has warned Sergio Perez that Red Bull are “not short of options” as the F1 2024 season draws ever nearer.

In the eyes of some, Perez was fortunate to keep hold of his seat for the upcoming campaign having underwhelmed in 2023.

But even if he starts the season with Red Bull, there is no guarantee that he will end it there with the team renowned for sudden mid-season swaps.

Christian Horner warns Sergio Perez seat is highly coveted

You would only have to go back to last year for an example of Red Bull cutting the cord as Nyck de Vries was dumped out of AlphaTauri just 10 races into the season.

Perez has survived three years so far but is under pressure to pick up his performances in 2024 in what could be a more competitive season at the front.

“Being Max Verstappen’s team-mate is a very, very tough gig,” Horner told Sky Sports. “I think that he’s shown real mental strength to be able to cope with that.

“Now the area that he needs to focus on improving next year is going to be Saturdays. Making sure that his average qualifying is a lot closer to Max because we know he can race and he’s got great pace, but we need him to be starting further up the grid.

“Particularly if the grid is going to converge then we can’t afford to have a lot of cars between Max and Checo. The car has been very attractive for other drivers to want to be in so we’re not short of options.” recommends

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Asked if any other drivers have expressed an interest in the seat alongside Verstappen, Horner said there had been “a little bit of that” but the Red Bull boss did say the door is open for Perez to say beyond 2024.

“Obviously there’s no guarantees of anything, but I think Checo [is] our driver in 2024. If he does a great job, we’ll want to keep him for ’25.

“But it’s all going to be about how he performs and how he delivers in relation to his team-mate.”

On Verstappen, Horner predicted the records he broke last year would remain unbeaten for a long time.

“He broke records from 1988 with McLaren. He broke records for being the most on the podium, the most wins in the season, most consecutive wins, the most points, and I think it’s only going to be with time [that] you reflect on this year.

“Bearing in mind the amount of time it took, over 30 years, to break that record. This one could be around for quite a while to come.”

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