Red Bull clarify No 1 option for 2025 drive and hint at deadline to sign

Helmut Marko update on Red Bull's hunt for a second driver for next year

(L to R): Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal with Dr Helmut Marko (AUT) Red Bull Motorsport Consultant.
(L to R): Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal with Dr…

Sergio Perez remains the top choice for Red Bull’s second car next season.

Perez entered 2024, the final year of his current contract, under huge pressure with most drivers on the F1 grid coveting his dominant car.

But a series of impressive showings alongside Max Verstappen have elevated Perez’s stock to the point where he is closing in on a new deal to remain.

“Discussions are ongoing and Checo is still our first option,” Red Bull’s Helmut Marko confirmed to Kleine Zeitung.

“We want to be clear about this before the summer break, even if we are certainly not putting any pressure on ourselves.”

In Perez’s home country of Mexico this week, it was reported that negotiations had reached an intriguing point.

Fox News Mexico claimed that Red Bull had officially offered Perez a new one-year deal for 2025.

But he had counter-offered and asked for a two-year deal, which Red Bull rejected.

A deal was still being negotiated back-and-forth, they reported.

Alternative options for Red Bull this season include Carlos Sainz, who will lose his Ferrari to Lewis Hamilton in 2025.

But despite Sainz’s availability he has not been snapped up by Red Bull or Mercedes yet, and might have to make do with a car further down the pecking order.

RB’s Daniel Ricciardo was red-hot favourite to replace Perez until he hit a stretch of poor form at the worst possible time.

The future of Ricciardo’s teammate Yuki Tsunoda has also come under the microscope, reportedly because he is not being seriously considered as a replacement for Perez at Red Bull despite his good form.

“Of course he is also part of conversations,” Marko said about Tsunoda.

“In general, we have several options in his contract so that he can be committed for several years.”

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