Christian Horner confirms F1 drivers are ‘interested’ in replacing Sergio Perez at Red Bull

Sergio Perez’s form has dropped significantly and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is looking for a replacement before his contract expires.

Christian Horner admitted that Red Bull is actively looking for a replacement for Sergio Pérez and has received “a lot of interest”.

Perez is under contract with Red Bull until 2024, but his position with the manufacturer has come under scrutiny after a number of poor performances. The Mexican driver is 177 points behind teammate Max Verstappen, who is dominating the season despite driving the same car as Perez.

Perez did not finish Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix after crashing into Kevin Magnussen and he finished eighth in Singapore after an incident involving Alex Albon. The 33-year-old driver won two of the four opening races of the season but crashed in spectacular fashion, fueling speculation about who could replace him at Red Bull. McLaren star Lando Norris has been seen by some as the successor, while AlphaTauri trio Daniel Ricciardo, Yuki Tsunoda and Liam Lawson are internal alternatives. In an interview with Sky Sports, Red Bull team principal Horner described Norris as “a great rider” and “a great talent, a great personality” and confirmed he was a member of a group of “multiple riders you are following”.

But Horner appeared to suggest that he wants to recruit Perez’s replacement in 2025 from among the drivers working for sister team AlphaTauri. He said: “Being Max’s teammate will never be easy and some drivers may be up for the challenge, others may not. “But of course, in addition to the drivers we have internally, we also monitor the entire driver market. As you can imagine, there is some interest in driving Red Bull in a number of areas.”

He added:
“Max is playing at a level where his confidence, his commitment, his talent are absolute at the moment and it’s hard to imagine anyone beating him in the same equipment. But out there there are great talents and of course what we want are the two best.” Drivers we can make.

“So ideally it would come from the talent pool that we have, and if we think there isn’t that capacity, we’ll look externally to see who is available.”

While the prospect of racing for the best team in F1 may seem an appealing prospect, it’s difficult to play second fiddle to a more superior teammate. Former world champion Damon Hill believes that Red Bull must find the right personality for the role. “I think the team would love to have a bit more of a winger for Max. They know Max is almost untouchable,” he said on Sky Sports.

“Do you remember when Michael Schumacher dominated Ferrari and no one could be number two behind Michael? I remember Ross Brawn saying to Eddie Irvine: ‘Look, you can’t beat him. You just have to try your best’, meaning It’s a pity for a racer to hear that.

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