Sergio Perez explains reasons for ‘100%’ confidence in retaining Red Bull drive

Michelle Foster
Sergio Perez speaking with Max Verstappen and Red Bull team manager Jonathan Wheatley.

Sergio Perez is "100%" confident he'll be a Red Bull driver next year.

Not only is Sergio Perez “100 percent” confident he’ll be a Red Bull driver next season, he hasn’t ruled out continuing for a few more years.

Perez is, at least according to Helmut Marko and Formula 1’s rumour mill, under pressure to retain his Red Bull having been destroyed by his team-mate Max Verstappen.

While the Dutchman has 14 race wins and 16 podiums in 2023, Perez’s tallies are two and eight, which has left the Mexican in a position of uncertainty – both in the championship and for his future.

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With five races remaining this season and Perez’s form having yet again taken a knock, he’s just 30 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the fight to finish runner-up in the championship.

And that runner-up position is what he reportedly needs to be assured of a 2024 Red Bull race seat.

Earlier this season Red Bull motorsport advisor Marko said the 33-year-old “has to finish second”, a comment he has reiterated several times since. More recently, though, he has said there is “no ultimatum for Perez“.

That has been re-laid to the driver with Perez asked ahead of the United States Grand Prix whether he was confident he’d be in the RB20 next season.

He replied: “100%.”

Asked why he felt so confident, he explained: “I have a contract and the conversations with the team as well. So yeah, there’s no reason for me not to fulfil that contract.”

And he may even be around come 2025 as he reckons he still has a few “good years” ahead.

“I’m not thinking on that [the future],” he said, “but I am just enjoying it at the moment. I am loving the challenge of getting back out of it.

“And I’m 33, I think I’ve got some good years ahead of me. So I think as an athlete, you want to maximise your career. That to me is important, so that’s my focus.”

Those years could even be with Red Bull with the driver saying he wants to “stay with Red Bull” but that “obviously [it] has to work out for both sides.” recommends

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Perez concedes he ‘cannot’ have such a deficit to Verstappen

But while Perez is bullish about his future, at least when it comes to 2024, the driver himself concedes his deficit to his team-mate Verstappen doesn’t look good.

The Dutchman has scored 433 points this season to Perez’s 224 with Verstappen bringing in 340 since Perez’s last win in Baku while the Mexican driver has only scored 137.

“Yeah, definitely we cannot have this sort of gap,” he acknowledged.

“I think basically, go back to the first six races or so when we were fighting with Max, and I think that’s a target to get back to that level of comfortability with the car.

“My issues have been real and we’ve been struggling with the car a bit and I think hopefully, next year can be a different story, but also this next five races.”

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