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Red Bull Sets a Timer On Finally Entering the Driver Market Drama With Spotlight on Both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez

Mahim Suhalka

Red Bull Sets a Timer On Finally Entering the Driver Market Drama With Spotlight on Both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez

Except for two— Ferrari and McLaren, every team on the grid are likely to be a part of the silly season to sign drivers for the upcoming season beyond. However, it was always coming with 13 drivers out of contract at the end of the current season. Among all, the future of Sergio Perez is the most volatile. It was Perez’s own doing with his poor output in 2023. So despite the P2 in the championship, the Minister of Defense went into 2024 with a sword hanging over his head. Thanks to the off-track drama, even Max Verstappen’s future became a topic of discussion. With rumors coming from all directions, there is some clarity on when Red Bull will decide on the future of their drivers.

This is all a domino effect of Lewis Hamilton’s early Ferrari announcement followed by the Christian Horner controversy. The two factors have blown the transfer market wide open. However, it’s the boss’s drama puts Max Verstappen’s future in doubt. As soon as rumors of the Dutchman’s willingness to leave hit the shelves, Mercedes started lurking.

Aston Martin and Audi are also playing their part. Aston Martin also has a vacant seat for 2025 at the moment. Audi on the other hand is trying to secure services of a driver strong enough to lead them into their F1 future. This has put some pressure on Red Bull as well, especially when it comes to their world champion.

However, as per Dr. Helmut Marko’s comments to Speedweek in an exclusive, the team is not taking part in these “games”. Marko has made it clear the team won’t make any announcements until the halfway of the season. “We do not take part in these games. We won’t hear from Red Bull Racing until the middle of the season about what’s going on in terms of personnel,” revealed the Red Bull advisor.

So all the questions about the future of the two Red Bull men will be answered around the F1 summer break. However, this gives birth to another problem. A problem of difference in timelines.

Red Bull is uncertain on Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez’s future

On the back of brilliant output in the 2021 season, Perez earned himself a two-year deal in 2022. However, until recently, not many were aware of a performance-related clause in his contract. This clause gave an out to both parties but as it turns out, it put the Mexican race driver under pressure.

Despite the clause and abysmal qualifying performances in 2023, Perez retained his seat for 2024. Now, being the master of his own destiny, with or without the clause, Perez has turned things around. He has secured three P2 in the opening four races and drastically improved his qualifying performances. In fact, Marko believes, “He’s definitely having his best season with us so far.”

This scenario has made Perez extremely relaxed about this future. However, he still has expectations and is demanding clarity at the earliest. As quoted on F1’s official website, Perez said, “I am pretty relaxed about it (his contract). The driver market is moving and the next few weeks are going to be a lot of movement for sure, so I expect within a month to really know what I’m doing next year.”

On the other side of the garage, however, things are more volatile now and out of control. Dr Marko believes the Mercedes boss holds the key to Verstappen’s future. So until Mercedes announces their driver for 2025, we can’t be sure if Verstappen will be with Red Bull. He made it evident with a cryptic message quoted by GP Fans when asked to comment on the Dutchma’s future. Marko simply said, “You’ll have to ask Toto Wolff.”

So, it’s either the Dutchman, Kimi Antonelli or bringing Sebastian Vettel out of retirement for Mercedes. A decision by the Brackley outfit will govern Red Bull’s decision as well.

Post Edited By:Tanish Chachra

About the author

Mahim Suhalka

Mahim Suhalka

Mahim Suhalka is an F1 journalist at the SportsRush. With an ever-growing love for the sport since 2019, he became a part of the industry two years ago and since then has written over 2200 pieces. A Lewis Hamilton fan through and through and with Hamilton's loyalties shifting to Ferrari, so will his. Apart from F1, he is a Football fanatic having played the sport and represented his state in various tournaments as he still stays in touch with the sport. Always a sports enthusiast Mahim is now translating his passion into words.

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