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Max Verstappen

Red Bull keeps options open for Verstappen teammate

Could Fernando Alonso or Lewis Hamilton pair Max Verstappen at Red Bull in the future?

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner said the team is not in any rush to change its driver lineup in the near future.

Sergio Perez has come under fire recently for failing to match teammate Max Verstappen, as Red Bull look to seal a historic one-two in the Drivers' Championship having missed out narrowly last year.

Now the circumstances have changed for the team as the RB19 has proved to be a superior package to its rivals, with the team enjoying a 256-point lead over nearest rivals Mercedes.

When asked about the situation with the Mexican, Horner told Speedcafe: "We have a contract.

"We’re happy with Checo and he will be our driver next year. But for us, it’s always good to have… the whole purpose of AlphaTauri and Toro Rosso before was to be training drivers as potential candidates for Red Bull Racing.

“That’s why, with Nyck [de Vries], it didn’t feel like he was going to be a Red Bull Racing candidate, so then the argument you put is, does it make sense to keep going?”

Horner: I don't see age as a barrier

Horner states the team is looking to keep its options open for the 2025 season, the year before the new engine regulations come into play and Red Bull Powertrains becomes a fully-fledged F1 constructor.

"I think ’25, it’s just good always to have options. I mean, Max is fixed till ’28. Checo’s contract runs the end of next year," said Horner.

"If Checo delivers, we’ll keep going with Checo. If he doesn’t, for whatever reason, that won’t be just restricted to AlphaTauri drivers. Because there’s an awful lot of drivers up and down the pit lane that would like to drive a Red Bull car."

Daniel Ricciardo has already eyed a return to the team in 2025, with it being the main reason for his return to AlphaTauri midway through this year.

By that time he will be 36 years old, although Horner is not fussed on this: "I don’t see age as a barrier.

"When I see what Fernando Alonso is doing, and Lewis Hamilton. It’s all about what’s up here [in the mind] that counts."

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