Christian Horner hits back at Sergio Perez as he’s drawn into Carlos Sainz contract battle

Sergio Perez's Red Bull F1 contract expires at the end of 2024, with Carlos Sainz axed by Ferrari for 2025


Christian Horner has praised Carlos Sainz as a key player in the 2025 Formula 1 driver market while dampening Sergio Perez‘s optimism that he could be announcing a Red Bull contract extension soon.

Arriving at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix weekend, Perez revealed conversations have already started to continue his stay in Milton Keynes beyond the end of his current deal in 2024, believing it ‘only a matter of time’ after Fernando Alonso re-signed at Aston Martin.

However, Alonso‘s not the only Spaniard in contention to be Max Verstappen‘s teammate in 2025 – Sainz has also been linked with the seat though Helmut Marko recently said Audi have made him an offer that Red Bull can’t match as they prepare to take over Sauber.

“As far as other drivers, there is pure speculation,” Christian Horner told members of the press including “We have no idea if and what Audi have offered Carlos, who’s key driver that’s on the open market and so it’s only natural that there’s going to be significant interest.

“I’m sure Audi would be foolish not to consider a driver of his quality amongst others that have seats available, but it would be improper to disclose what offers are made. That’s something that’s not been disclosed to us as to what offers have been made from other teams.”

Horner: Perez would sign tomorrow if he could

2023 Monaco GP winner Sergio Perez on the podium alongside Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen, team principal Christian Horner and Carlos Sainz of Ferrari| Clive Rose/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Perez‘s prospects of retaining his Red Bull seat have improved since the start of the start of the season, boosted in particular by his strong Japanese GP performance. However, Horner has repeatedly said Red Bull aren’t close to announcing a decision on their lineup, blunting Perez‘s enthusiasm.

“Of course, he would like to make an announcement tomorrow undoubtedly,” Horner added. “But we as a team aren’t in a particular rush.

“We’re in a fortunate position where many drivers would obviously like to drive for the team, we’re happy with the pairing that we have we just want to make sure that the level of consistency that Checo has started with maintains and in due course we’ll we’ll evaluate those options.

“But as I say, at this point in time we’re very happy with the lineup that we have, so there’s no imminent rush to announce drivers that the full driver lineup for 2025.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for and in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
- Advertisment -


Conor Daly during Indy 500 Qualifying | Penske Entertainment: Karl Zemlin

Team Penske dominate Indy 500 Qualifying with VeeKay serving up a dramatic finish

Team Penske continued its march toward the IndyCar 2024 Indy 500 on Saturday during the first day of Qualifying,...
Nico Hulkenberg at the 2024 Emilia Romagna GP | Haas F1 Team / LAT Images

Hulkenberg admits helping Max Verstappen secure Imola pole position

Nico Hulkenberg has confessed to intentionally providing Max Verstappen with a slipstream during the final laps of Qualifying, assisting...
Sergio Perez during qualifying for the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Sergio Perez dispels Red Bull myth despite Imola struggles compared to Max Verstappen

Sergio Perez rebuffed suggestions that his Q2 exit at Imola while Max Verstappen took 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix...
Oscar Piastri during practice for the 2024 Emilia Romagna GP | McLaren

McLaren star Oscar Piastri hit with grid penalty for Emilia Romagna GP

McLaren driver Oscar Piastri has been handed a three-place grid drop by the FIA stewards for the Formula 1...
Carlos Sainz during practice for 2024 Emilia Romagna GP at Imola | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

“…So I gave him the finger” – Verstappen, Norris and Piastri recount bizarre shared...

Max Verstappen revealed he'd flipped off an Imola fan in qualifying for the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix with...

George Russell blames ‘sandwich’ for costing Mercedes in Emilia Romagna GP qualifying

George Russell joked that having a large lunch at Imola cost him a chance to move further up the...
Lando Norris speaks to Max Verstappen ahead of the 2023 Abu Dhabi GP | Clive Rose / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Lando Norris hits out at ‘stupid’ Max Verstappen critics after Imola pole

Lando Norris has called out Max Verstappen's critics for being "a bit stupid" after the Red Bull driver continued...
Max Verstappen after securing pole position for the 2024 Emilia Romagna GP at Imola | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

How Verstappen and Red Bull reversed uncompetitive Imola form to take surprise pole

Max Verstappen revealed he would've been happy with fifth place in qualifying for the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix...
Carlos Sainz during practice for 2024 Emilia Romagna GP at Imola | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

F1 Emilia Romagna GP 2024 Qualifying: Highlights and reaction

Welcome to this F1 blog for Qualifying at the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, coming to you from the paddock at...
Max Verstappen during final practice ahead of the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Verstappen defies Imola woes and McLaren to secure stunning Emilia Romagna GP pole

Max Verstappen defied Red Bull's struggles throughout their 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to take a scintillating Imola pole...
- Advertisment -