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Sergio Perez

Horner: Red Bull hasn't 'written off' Perez despite second seat interest

Perez's future remains under heavy scrutiny despite holding a contract for next season.

To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has insisted Sergio Perez has not been "written off" by the team despite increasing interest in the second seat alongside Max Verstappen.

Mexican Perez started the year strongly with two wins from the opening four races - including the Azerbaijan Grand Prix Sprint - to firmly establish himself as a contender with Verstappen for the Drivers' title.

But a miserable run of form from the Monaco Grand Prix until the Hungarian Grand Prix saw Perez lose ground in the championship - with no Q3 appearances in that time despite the pace of the RB19 relative to the field - allowing Verstappen to take a 125-point advantage into the summer break.

Speculation over his future with the team remains despite continuous assurances from Red Bull's hierarchy that Perez's contract would at least be fulfilled.

"Checo is incredibly popular in the team - let's not forget what he did in 2021," he told Sky Sports, referring to Perez's supporting role in the Abu Dhabi season finale in 2021.

"He is now second in the championship and is the only driver who has won a race this year [other than Verstappen], two races even.

"Of course, the main goal for Checo is to run on all cylinders at full speed on a Saturday but I am sure he will do that.

"Nobody has written him off."

Widespread interest

Daniel Ricciardo's return to F1 with AlphaTauri only added fuel to the flames surrounding Perez's future with Red Bull, with the Australian looking for a route back to winning ways.

But Horner has revealed widespread interest in the second seat alongside two-time World Champion Verstappen and added: "That's just the position we are in. That we have so much interest is, of course, fantastic.

"That is not only from our drivers [the Red Bull junior programme], but from drivers from all corners for the F1 season starting in 2025."

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