Early 2024 F1 races will enable Red Bull and Perez to decide future

Red Bull and Sergio Perez will look at the early races of the 2024 Formula 1 season to provide a “clearer picture” on whether team and driver will stay together.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Perez is contracted for next season and team principal Christian Horner has insisted the Mexican will start the year alongside Max Verstappen, despite his stuttering recent form.

But speaking to DAZN in Spain, Perez implied that he could leave the five-time constructors’ champion outfit on his own terms if he felt as though he could not contribute anymore.

He said: “I also want to be in an environment in which I feel like I can contribute and if that place for 2024 isn't here, we have to look for other alternatives.”

Ahead of this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix, Perez added that the early races of next season will help him and Red Bull to make an early call on their further together.

He said: “For me, I'm staying here for another year and then we will see. It's how I see things.

“I think we want to get through this year as competitively as possible, start next year.

“And I think early next year, we will have a clearer picture on what the team wants to do and what I want to do.”

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko and Horner have repeatedly stated that the requirement for Perez is to finish runner-up to Verstappen in the drivers’ standings.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, 2nd position, in the Press Conference

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, 2nd position, in the Press Conference

Photo by: FIA Pool

While Perez is currently second, 145 points adrift of his team-mate, the concern would be that he might not be close enough to Verstappen should a greater and more consistent threat emerge from rivals such as Mercedes, Ferrari, Aston Martin and McLaren.

Given an impressive F1 comeback prior to breaking a bone in his left hand in Zandvoort, AlphaTauri racer Daniel Ricciardo has been heavily linked with a return to the main Red Bull team for 2025.

Asked to expand further on what Perez meant by needing a good environment to feel as though he could stay put at Red Bull if the decision were up to him, he said: “Being able to deliver the results that you've got the car for.

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“I feel like times that this year I undershoot that. But like I always say, it only matters where you finish in Abu Dhabi. Up to then, we've been able to recover and have that consistency.

“All I've learned this year is that you cannot do anything on your own.

“You need the team around you, you need the team to support you and vice versa. As a driver, you have to believe and be fully committed to it.

“We've made a lot of progress to make me drive more naturally. So I'm definitely feeling that I'm going back to what I started in terms of how I was driving the car."

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