Red Bull boss Christian Horner has provided the biggest clue yet as to the identity of Max Verstappen's team-mate for 2025 with Sergio Perez entering the final year of his contract.
But the Englishman has provided a massive boost to 'Checo' by declaring that the Red Bull seat is "his to lose".
It comes after a mixed campaign for the Mexican where he helped Red Bull secure a historic one-two in the drivers' championship but failed to fully take advantage of the imperious RB19 car he was provided with to its fullest potential.
A strong finish to the campaign gives the team hope that he can start 2024 in a confident manner, in what will be the final year of his current contract.
There are no shortage of candidates or options for Red Bull as decisions loom for the Milton Keynes-based outfit and Horner is pleased to have some flexibility.
"I think the luxury position we're in, is that we're not in any rush," said Horner, speaking to Autosport. "We've got loads of options and I think it is Checo's seat to lose.
"He's the one that we're backing. He's our 2024 driver. And if he does a great job next year, there's no reason that we wouldn't extend him into 2025. But it'd be purely based on what he achieves over what will be a large part of the season."
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