Who will replace Sergio Perez as Max Verstappen’s team-mate?

Max Verstappen is contracted at Red Bull until the end of 2028.

With Sergio Perez’s contract at Red Bull entering its final 20 months, who could the Austrians be looking at to replace the Mexican, or are they looking at a replacement at all?

Perez’s current deal is set to expire at the end of 2024, by at which point he’ll be 34 years old.

Whilst his age is by no means an issue, his complicated relationship with Max Verstappen could put a spanner in the works, should the 33-year-old be targeting an extension.

Perez remaining at Red Bull beyond 2024 is certainly an option, given that he’s proven to the team how consistent and quick he can be.

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By retaining Perez, Red Bull will have the assurance that they’ve got two drivers who can perform to a high standard, something they might not have if they replace Checo.

Of course, Perez and Verstappen’s relationship will likely have an impact on whether the Mexican is retained, with the pair having somewhat fallen out in Saudi Arabia earlier this season and in Brazil last year.

Despite this, though, team principal Christian Horner doesn’t see any issues between the two, who he hails as “very mature”.

“We’ve got two very mature drivers who work well together; they’ve worked well together previously,” Horner said.

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Should Red Bull decide to replace Perez, then the best bet currently is AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda.

Tsunoda being considered for a seat at Red Bull is something which certainly wouldn’t have been said in 2021 or 2022, given that the Japanese driver showed a lack of control, patience, and consistency.

2023 has been a completely different story, with Tsunoda almost looking like a new driver.

Following the departure of Pierre Gasly, Tsunoda has very much stepped up to the plate and has been a leader for the Faenza-based team, something which makes team boss Franz Tost believe that in 2025 he’ll “be ready for Red Bull”.

“As far as I know, Sergio Perez still has a contract for next year,” Tost said recently.

“All I can say is that Yuki is on the right track. He has improved in every respect. But I think he should drive at AlphaTauri again in 2024. In 2025, I think he will finally be ready for Red Bull.”

Whilst unlikely, Daniel Ricciardo is another driver who will surely be considered for the seat, given his rich history with the Austrians.

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Ricciardo claimed seven wins for Red Bull from 2014-2018, whilst his presence in the garage has already been praised this season, since his return to the Milton Keynes-based team as their development driver.

He does also get on with Verstappen very well, with the likelihood being that the Dutchman would be all for a real reunion with the Aussie.

One thing for certain is that Red Bull have options, something which puts them in an excellent position.