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Horner makes HUGE Red Bull F1 seat declaration

Horner makes HUGE Red Bull F1 seat declaration

F1 News

Horner makes HUGE Red Bull F1 seat declaration

Horner makes HUGE Red Bull F1 seat declaration

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.

Moments such as the big crash in Mexico spoiled the 2023 campaign for Sergio Perez

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."

READ MORE: VOTE: Who was the best non-champion driver in 2023?

Horner reveals what Perez must do to keep Red Bull seat

Horner acknowledged the unique challenge of partnering a historical great like Verstappen, as the Dutchman moves into 2024 looking to claim a fourth straight drivers' crown.

And the Red Bull chief has laid out the key target for Perez if he wants to keep his seat alongside the Dutchman.

Sergio Perez spent all but the early stages of the 2023 season in Max Verstappen's wake

"I think that being Max's team-mate is tough, and I think that you've got to have a certain resolve and character to be prepared to go up against Max,” he said.

"But as the field converges, it is inevitable that you want your two cars as close together as you can achieve.

"With Checo, his race pace and his racing, has been very strong on many occasions. It's his performance in qualifying that is probably the area that he needs to focus on over the winter.

"But he's acutely aware that he's got to up his qualifying average, so that he's not having to come from so far back."

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Verstappen setup quirk which allows Red Bull to make car even faster

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