Horner: No rush to confirm 2025 driver line-up


SHANGHAI, China — Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said his team is in no rush to confirm its driver line-up for 2025, despite Sergio Perez hinting at an imminent contract renewal on Thursday.

Red Bull has reigning champion Max Verstappen contracted until 2028 — a deal the 26-year-old said last month he intends to honour following speculation around his future, while teammate Perez will be out of contract by the end of this season

Speaking to media ahead of this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, Perez, who has finished in second place to Verstappen at three of the first four races, said he expected to remain at Red Bull for a fifth season.

“The priority is to remain here for the future,” Perez said. “That’s something that I think is just a matter of time.”

However, when Horner was asked how close his team is to confirming its line-up for 2025, he said: “Not very, I’m afraid. It’s incredible that we are at race five and there is so much talk already about drivers for next year.

“We are in a situation where we are very happy with our two drivers, and we don’t need to make a final decision about our line-up until much later in the year.

“Obviously, Max is on a long-term contract and Checo [Perez] is out of contract at the end of this year but has been driving exceptionally well so far this season.”

Asked about Perez’s comments, Horner added: “Of course, he would like to make an announcement tomorrow, undoubtedly.

“We as a team aren’t in a particular rush, we are in a fortunate position where many drivers obviously would like to drive for the team, but we are happy with the pairing that we have, we just want to make sure that the level of consistency Checo started the season with is maintained.

“In due course we will evaluate those options, but at this point in time we are very happy with the line-up we have, so there is no imminent rush to announce the full driver line-up for 2025.”

Horner’s comments also follow speculation linking Carlos Sainz with Red Bull for 2025. The Ferrari driver is out of contract at the end of this year and will be replaced by Lewis Hamilton next season, making the in-form 29-year-old one of the driver market’s key players.

This week, Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko said his team was in talks with Sainz but was unable to match the money being offered to the Spaniard by Audi, which is investing in the Sauber team ahead of its arrival in F1 in 2026. However, on Friday, Horner denied Red Bull has any knowledge of an offer made by Audi to Sainz.

“It is pure speculation and we have no idea if and what Audi have offered Carlos,” he said. “He is a key driver on the open market, so it’s only natural that there is going to be significant interest and I’m sure Audi would be foolish not to consider a driver of his quality amongst others that have seats available.

“It would be improper to disclose what offers have been made and it’s not something that has been disclosed to us as to what offers have been made from other teams.”

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