Christian Horner reveals Max Verstappen’s 2024 team-mate

Christian Horner has revealed Red Bull’s driver line up for the 2024 season, after months of speculation.

In a decisive move for the upcoming Formula 1 season, Christian Horner, the team principal of Red Bull Racing, has officially announced Sergio Perez’s continued partnership with the team alongside their main driver Max Verstappen. 

Simultaneously, Horner shed light on the reasons behind Nyck de Vries’ abrupt departure from the Milton Keynes-based outfit, asserting that the Dutch driver was deemed unprepared to steer the Red Bull machine.

Throughout the current 2023 season, Perez’s role within the team has been the subject of debate, with the 33-year-old Mexican grappling to match the performance standards set by his two-time world champion teammate, Verstappen. 

The season began on a high note for Perez, securing victories in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan within the first four races, promptly establishing himself as a contender for the championship title. 

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Regrettably, Perez’s performance trajectory subsequently plummeted, and he now faces a considerable 125-point deficit to his teammate as the summer break commences.

“We have a contract,” confirmed Horner in an interview, addressing inquiries about Perez’s tenure with the team. 

“We’re content with Checo, and he will be our driver next year. 

“However, it remains advantageous for us to retain the tradition of grooming potential Red Bull Racing candidates through programs like AlphaTauri and Toro Rosso.”

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Horner elucidated that Nyck de Vries’ tenure didn’t align with the prospects of eventually joining Red Bull Racing, ultimately leading to his departure. 

“With Nyck [de Vries], we didn’t discern the characteristics of a future Red Bull Racing candidate. This prompts the question—does prolonging his involvement make logical sense?”

De Vries’ stint with the Red Bull family lasted a mere ten races before Helmut Marko and Horner replaced him with Daniel Ricciardo for AlphaTauri’s Formula One comeback. 

De Vries, who had demonstrated an impressive stand-in performance for Williams the previous year, struggled to replicate his form within the AT04. 

Consistently falling short against his teammate Yuki Tsunoda over the course of ten races, De Vries faced elimination after the British Grand Prix.

While De Vries’ departure sends a warning signal, Perez finds himself at a crossroads. 

Red Bull’s management displayed swift decisiveness in ousting De Vries, a precedent that might impact Perez should his performance fail to escalate post the summer break. 

Horner accentuated, “I believe having options in ’25 is always prudent. Max’s contract is secured until ’28. 

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“Checo’s tenure extends through the end of next year. 

“Should Checo excel, we’ll undoubtedly persist with him. 

“Yet, if circumstances dictate otherwise, our scope for alternatives transcends AlphaTauri’s talent pool, as numerous drivers on the grid aspire to steer a Red Bull car.”