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Helmut Marko

Red Bull provide update on Verstappen's future teammate

Red Bull's Helmut Marko has offered an update into the team's plans as to who will drive alongside Max Verstappen in 2023.

Perez Verstappen Imola
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To news overview © XPB

Red Bull won't be confirming their second driver alongside Max Verstappen for some time, despite Sergio Perez's strong start to the season.

While Verstappen is confirmed to be staying with Red Bull until the end of 2028, the second cockpit is potentially up for grabs for 2023 as Perez's contract expires at the end of this season.

With Perez closely shadowing Verstappen in the opening quartet of races, as well as being ahead early on in Saudi Arabia, the likelihood is that Red Bull will look to extend his contract, but Helmut Marko has said the decision won't be made just yet.

"By the summer break, we will make the choice who will be Verstappen's teammate in 2023," he told Viaplay.

As well as Perez, AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly remains a possibility for Red Bull as the French driver is under contract for another season before he may be tempted to look elsewhere.

"Pierre is under contract with us until the end of 2023, so there is still some time," Marko said.

"As always with Red Bull, it's about their performance."

Perez "integrating better and better" with Red Bull

With Perez taking his very first career pole position in Saudi Arabia, as well as claiming podium finishes in Australia and Imola, Marko praised the Mexican driver as he has closed the gap to Verstappen significantly since first stepping into a Red Bull.

Asked by Sport1 whether Red Bull are now the leading force in F1 after their dominance of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Marko stated that Perez has raised his game.

"I wouldn't go so far as to say that we are a force," he commented.

"But, last year, we had the fastest man in Max, now Perez is also integrating better and better into the team and understands the car better.

"Then a 1-2 [finish] is the logical consequence at some point."

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: Are Red Bull now favourites and has Hamilton hit a new low?

RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Mike Seymour and Thomas Maher look back over the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where Red Bull triumphed, Ferrari hit trouble and Mercedes struggled.

F1 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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