Max Verstappen hints at Red Bull stay in reaction to new Sergio Perez contract

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez

No driver has raced alongside Max Verstappen more than Sergio Perez

Max Verstappen has welcomed the news of Sergio Perez staying with Red Bull until 2026 and even offered a glimpse into his own plans for the future.

The Dutchman is signed up to the team until 2028 but the general unrest within Red Bull at the start of the season and the open flirtation from Mercedes had seen some speculate Verstappen could leave before his contract end.

Max Verstappen reacts to Sergio Perez Red Bull contract extension

While plenty of focus was given to the reigning World Champion’s future, there was also speculation about the Red Bull second seat with Perez’s previous contract set to expire at the end of this season.

That speculation has now come to an end with Red Bull announcing on Tuesday that Perez had put pen to paper on a deal that keeps him with the team for the next two seasons.

In his first comments since the news was confirmed, Verstappen said he looked forward to continuing the “successful partnership” he has fostered with the Mexican driver.

“It is great news that Checo has signed with the team until 2026 and I am glad to be able to continue with the successful partnership that we have created over the past few years,” Verstappen said.

The Dutchman went on to reference their dominant 2023 season before also confirming that he would be in Red Bull colours for the next two seasons as well.

He added: “We achieved a record-breaking season last year and the team is very strong, so we are looking forward to building on this success into the next two years as well.”

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Verstappen was speaking ahead of this weekend’s race in Montreal, a circuit he won at in 2022 and 2023, and after a difficult time in Monaco, he stressed the importance of finding the right set up for the RB20.

“Following a more difficult weekend in Monaco, this week I have been with the team back at the factory and in the sim preparing for the Canadian Grand Prix,” Verstappen, who leads the Drivers’ championship by 31 points, said.

“The track there is very unique, has some old school kerbs and there are plenty more opportunities for overtaking.

“It is even more important to have a good set up of the car and find a balance between the straight line speeds as well as good stability under the braking.

“It is always good to be back racing in Montreal; the scenery is one of a kind, the atmosphere in the city is great and the fans are very passionate.”

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