Formula 1

Christian Horner Dismisses Rumors: No P2 Mandate for Sergio Perez at Red Bull

In a recent statement, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner emphasized that Sergio Perez is not under pressure to finish second in the Drivers’ Standings to retain his seat for the next season. This clarification comes amidst the Mexican driver’s current standing at 240 points, just ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

Key Takeaways:

  • No P2 Mandate for Perez: Christian Horner has categorically stated that Red Bull has not set a condition for Sergio Perez to finish in P2 in the Drivers’ Standings to secure his position for the next season.
  • Perez’s Current Standings: With four Grand Prix left in the 2023 season, Perez stands at 240 points, benefiting from Lewis Hamilton’s disqualification in Austin, which widened the points gap.
  • Future of Perez at Red Bull: Perez’s contract extends to the end of 2024, and while future extensions are uncertain, Horner acknowledges that Red Bull has plenty of options for the 2025 seat.

In the world of Formula 1, team dynamics and driver performance are always under scrutiny. This was highlighted recently when Red Bull Racing’s team principal, Christian Horner, addressed the media to clear up speculations surrounding their driver, Sergio Perez. Amidst a season filled with highs and lows, Perez has found himself at the center of rumors suggesting that his continuation with the team for the next season hinged on finishing second in the Drivers’ Standings.

However, Horner has unequivocally dismissed these rumors. In his own words, “There’s no pre-mandate like that. We’ve never finished first and second in a championship. We’ve finished first and third a few times with Mark [Webber] and Sebastian [Vettel] and we did it last year with Max and Checo. With this car, it’ll be fantastic for in such a season that we’ve had to finish it first and second. But there’s no pre-mandate on Checo that says ‘You have to finish second or you won’t be driving the car next year.’ That’s never been discussed.”

This statement not only sheds light on the internal expectations within the Red Bull team but also underscores the support Perez enjoys within the team’s hierarchy. His performance this season, particularly in the face of stiff competition and the technical issues plaguing other teams, has been noteworthy. The Mexican driver, currently at 240 points, gained a slight edge due to Hamilton’s disqualification in Austin, which Horner acknowledges but does not leverage as a condition for Perez’s continued association with the team.

Looking towards the future, Perez’s contract with the Milton Keynes-based outfit runs through the end of 2024. The discussion about the 2025 season is still open, with Horner admitting, “We’re certainly not short of options [for the 2025 seat]. Of course, we’ve got plenty of time to look and evaluate that. But there are so many factors involved in that.”

As the 2023 season heads towards its climax, the focus within Red Bull seems clear: support their drivers and aim for the best possible team finish, without the burden of conditional mandates. This approach not only strengthens the team’s morale but also positions them as a formidable force in the F1 paddock, valuing performance and team spirit over rigid stipulations.

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