Red Bull: Perez’s Imola GP setback won’t affect his future

While he doesn't explicitly state Sergio Perez will be retained, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is sure that his lackluster performance at the Imola Grand Prix won't affect their 2025 Formula 1 contract negotiations.

(Motorsports news) As Red Bull failed to find the ideal setup for its RB20, Perez lost to Charles Leclerc on Sunday for the runner-up position in the drivers’ championship. Perez had a difficult weekend in Italy.

This season, Perez has yet to surpass Max Verstappen in qualifying or take the lead on a single race lap. However, in Imola, he performed much worse than both of his sister team RB’s cars, failing to make it to Q3. After a tumble in the gravel on Sunday, he only managed to finish seventh, over 55 seconds behind his Red Bull teammate.

However, Horner describes this setback as “just a blip” and is not unduly concerned about it

Before the race, Horner stated, “Our simulations were saying that P7 was potentially optimal [assuming] nothing happened, no safety cars or anything like that,” and the race was indeed conducted without any problems.

“He had one trip through the gravel that cost him about six seconds, but I think that was about the maximum that he could get from that grid position today.”

With this subpar performance, Perez’s 2025 season at Red Bull is still uncertain.

While acknowledging that his racer’s timing was unlucky, Horner was quick to highlight the wider picture: “There are 24 races on the schedule. He has had a fantastic start to the year, has adopted a somewhat different strategy this year, and has a really powerful approach. Yesterday’s qualifying determined today’s outcome.”

Horner continued, “We know exactly where we are at and what our options are,” in reference to the competition for Perez’s seat, which includes Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo, and Yuki Tsunoda of RB, among others. We will decide on the future at a time that works best for us.”

Horner clarified that any possible deal wasn’t simply waiting to be signed when asked how close Red Bull was to finalizing the parameters of a new contract with Perez and whether it was only a matter of signing: “Checo is always a very straightforward guy to deal with, so I wouldn’t expect that to be an issue.”

Also read: Norris can defeat Verstapen, but “many races ending in tears” – Brown


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