Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner insists that there is no "pre-mandate" for Sergio Perez to finish second in the Formula 1 Drivers' Championship to keep his seat for 2024.
Although Perez has a contract for next season with the team, speculation has been fuelled by suggestions that Red Bull could change tact if he does not finish as a runner-up to Max Verstappen in the dominant RB19.
Perez has failed to challenge for a race win since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and endured a tricky run of qualifying performances midway through the season which led to five early exits in a row.
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Horner: We're certainly not short of options
His form might suggest that Red Bull could look at other options, including promoting Daniel Ricciardo to allow Liam Lawson on the grid.
When asked if there is any caveat to Perez's contract situation, Horner told media, including RacingNews365: "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."
When asked if there are concerns over whether they could struggle to fill the seat against Verstappen, Horner believes they have enough avenues to pursue.
"Of course we've got plenty of plenty of time to look and evaluate that. But there are so many factors involved in that."