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Helmut Marko

Marko explains reasons why Red Bull offered Perez contract extension

Dr Helmut Marko has commented for the first time on Sergio Perez's Red Bull contract extension, with the driver signing on for two more seasons.

Marko Perez
To news overview © XPBimages

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has provided insight into the team's decision to retain Sergio Perez until 2026.

The 34-year-old driver has been the favourite for the seat since his strong start to the current season. However, his form as wained in recent rounds, fuelling opinions that Red Bull should partner Max Verstappen with someone else from next year.

Daniel Ricciardo was an early contender for the seat, but his performances so far in 2024 ruled him out the running.

Carlos Sainz was thought to be the most likely option if Red Bull did opt to make a change, and Yuki Tsunoda has been a popular choice for fans. However, it is unknown how seriously - if ever - the Milton Keynes team truly considered him for 2025.

But, despite all the speculation and suggested alternatives over recent weeks, Perez prevailed. Whilst it raised eyebrows when announced, Marko explained that to Red Bull, he was the obvious selection.

"We wanted to ensure continuity in the team," the 81-year-old told Motorsport.com. "Max [Verstappen] and Checo [Sergio Perez] have a good relationship and a good understanding of each other, so I call it a logical choice. Checo delivers. He has his ups and downs, but he is still a fast driver."

Perez contract a two-year deal

It is understood the contract signed by Perez is a two-year deal, with the second being a team option. Prior to the extension being confirmed, it was believed Perez wanted a straight two-year agreement, with Red Bull wanting only to offer a single season.

Marko confirmed that the two parties did indeed meet in the middle when asked if it was a conventional two-year contract, or it there was a clause involved.

"Formula 1 contracts always have clauses, the Austrian said. "But in a general sense it is a two-year contract."

Perez's third deal with the team will see him stay with the team as F1 ushers in the next generation of regulations - something Marko states is a positive step for the team.

"It helps, of course," the 81-year-old added. "He has a lot of knowledge and experience, although the most important thing is that we get the best possible information from both drivers, so that we as a team can then also be competitive."

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