There are currently no plans for anyone other than Sergio Perez to be driving for Red Bull in 2024, despite rumours circulating elsewhere.
Sergio Perez’s future with Red Bull has been heavily questioned in recent months, due to a poor run of form that stretches back as far as his catastrophic qualifying crash in May’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Perez has struggled for confidence and pace ever since, with his results petering out to the extent that the early championship contender is now looking over his shoulder at the approaching Lewis Hamilton – the Mercedes man is now just 20 points behind Perez with three Grands Prix remaining.
Every rumour regarding Red Bull line-up dismissed
The nature of the rumours regarding Sergio Perez’s future has changed from week to week, with a social media post from a Reddit user claiming to have attended an Escuderia Telmex event in which it was ‘revealed’ Perez was planning to retire from F1 and would announce it during the Mexican Grand Prix weekend.
With Perez enduring a nightmare race in his home country as he misjudged a Turn 1 overtaking attempt that resulted in retirement following contact with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, the rumour mill shot into overdrive.
This was fuelled by vague posts on X (formerly Twitter) in which several prominent F1 journalists and broadcasters hinted at a seismic event occurring behind the scenes – the journalists involved vaguely alluding to the situation possibly involving Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo.
One suggestion, the most obvious, has been that Perez is set to lose his seat to Ricciardo, with Red Bull having lost patience with the Mexican driver. This rumour has floated ever since Ricciardo’s return to F1 with AlphaTauri, and only gained more traction as the Australian put in a stellar weekend to claim seventh place in Mexico – coinciding with Perez’s mistake.
A wilder rumour has been that Perez is to be shifted aside in favour of Fernando Alonso, with the Spaniard parting ways with Aston Martin after just one year of his deal as frustrations regarding their on-track performance have purportedly escalated.
These rumours were further fuelled by Aston Martin testing reserve driver Felipe Drugovich at Monza on Monday, but PlanetF1.com has confirmed the test of the 2021 AMR21 was already part of the Brazilian’s run plan for the season and had been scheduled since early in the year.
PlanetF1.com also understands from sources within Red Bull that any and all driver-related rumours regarding the line-up for 2024 are wide of the mark, and there are currently no plans to race with anybody other than the confirmed line-up of Verstappen and Perez.
Christian Horner: Red Bull’s intention is to run with Sergio Perez in 2024
Speaking to media following the Mexican Grand Prix, Red Bull boss Christian Horner revealed what he had said to Perez when the Mexican driver returned to the team after the collision and his subsequent retirement.
“I think it was a tough moment for him,” he said.
“It’s in front of his home crowd. He’s very emotional. I just said to him ‘You’re going for the lead in your home race. You wouldn’t be a racing driver if you weren’t going for it’.”
Horner continued on to say Perez was a shoo-in for a podium finish, and that Red Bull still has every faith in their driver to clinch the runner-up spot in the Drivers’ Championship and secure the first team 1-2 in their near-20-year history.
“I think he would have been on the podium, for sure, today – without a shadow of a doubt,” he said.
“So it’s a big loss for him today here with, obviously, a car that was capable of being on the podium.
“He’s got three races now to convert that second place. There are 20 points between him and Lewis. He’s had some misfortune and he’s had some issues, but we still believe he can do it between now and the end of the year.”
As for whether Perez needs to secure second place in order to retain his seat, as has also been rumoured, Horner said such an ultimatum hasn’t been made.
“It’s not as binary as that. You’ve got to look at the circumstances, and so on,” he said.
“Checo [Perez] has an agreement with us for next year and that’s our intention for him to be in the car in 2024.
“But we’ll give him all the support that we can, to ensure that he finishes second but there’s no prerequisite that, if he doesn’t finish second, he’s out.”