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Max Verstappen

What Perez's new contract means for Verstappen and Red Bull

Max Verstappen now knows who will be driving alongside him at Red Bull Racing in 2025 and 2026, with the team opting to retain Sergio Perez - but what does the new deal mean for the reigning world champion?

Verstappen Perez China
To news overview © XPBimages

What does Sergio Perez's new Red Bull contract mean for Max Verstappen? The easy response to that question is "not much” - and that actually captures much of the realistic answer. 

Ask Verstappen how he views the whole teammate issue and he will shrug. 

It's a long-lingering story that he prefers to keep short, with words to the following effect: "I mainly focus on myself anyway and what I can do."

In answering the question at hand, however, some conclusions can still be made. Although Verstappen does not shy away from anyone, he is now quite certain that he has nothing to fear from his team-mate over the next two years. 

Does he have a good partner in Perez? That is something Perez will have to continue to prove going forward, but the Mexican has qualities and is often able to ensure that he brings home points for his team. 

Verstappen also knows with Perez staying on that he will remain the undisputed front-runner within the set-up. Perez is not someone who will challenge Verstappen or question the hierarchy within Red Bull. 

In contrast, it is difficult to imagine that a driver such as Fernando Alonso would easily resign himself to a role as a number two driver.

Red Bull also seems to be making a very deliberate bet with Perez on permanence and continuity. 

In a time when things within the Red Bull organisation don't appear too calm, that may actually be a very positive factor for the team.

Verstappen and Red Bull do not have to worry about a new driver who may or may not perform well, because they already know very well what they have with Perez, both on and off the track.

Although Perez is often (not always) strong on the track, it is also important that outside the cockpit it clicks well between the two drivers, and with Perez, that is the case. 

Yes, they have had some frustrations back and forth, most notably during the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix, but in general, the duo get along just fine.

Whichever way you look at it, as team-mates they are part of the one group and harmony is not unimportant, but it seems to be a box ticked for Red Bull going forward.

Also interesting:

In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, join Ian Parkes, Sam Coop and Nick Golding as they look ahead to the Canadian Grand Prix, Red Bull's struggles potentially continuing and the news that Esteban Ocon will leave Alpine at the end of 2024.

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