Why Red Bull are under pressure to replace Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez's contract is set to expire at the end of the 2024 season.

After a sensational start to the 2023 F1 season, Red Bull are soon going to be forced into making some potentially huge decisions, with all of it based around a certain Sergio Perez.

Perez has enjoyed a strong start to 2023, with the Mexican having claimed second-place in Bahrain, a victory in Saudi Arabia and a P5 in Australia.

As a result, he currently sits 15 points behind team-mate Max Verstappen in the Drivers’ Championship, meaning Perez certainly has a shout at the title based on his positive form.

Should Perez’s impressive form continue, then Red Bull will be torn over whether to extend his deal or not, with the 33-year-old’s contract currently set to expire at the end of 2024.

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Whilst he has got another 20 months on his Red Bull contract, the Austrians will likely need to decide this year whether they are going to keep him beyond 2025, with any decision set to have an impact on not only sister team AlphaTauri, but also several Red Bull junior drivers.

At the sister side, Yuki Tsunoda and rookie Nyck de Vries are both contracted until the end of this season, meaning that two spots at AlphaTauri could open up for 2024.

However, whilst De Vries has found the going tough, Tsunoda has made an excellent start to the year, with the Japanese driver having claimed two P11’s and a P10.

He’s certainly improved in maturity and consistency, with AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost having revealed that he believes Tsunoda “In 2025, I think he will finally be ready for Red Bull”.

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If Red Bull bosses agree with Tost, then Tsunoda will likely be offered another new deal by AlphaTauri for 2024, meaning that only De Vries’ seat will be up for grabs.

With Red Bull reserve driver Liam Lawson having won his debut Super Formula race, though, De Vries will likely be feeling some pressure already, given that the New Zealander is certainly ready for F1.

Lawson has already made several FP1 appearances and is a known favourite amongst Red Bull, with the Austrians likely wanting to get him into F1.

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This will likely happen in either 2024 or 2025, with Ayumu Iwasa also causing Red Bull a problem.

The Red Bull Junior is currently leading the F2 standings following the recent round in Australia, with Red Bull currently facing the prospect of having two junior champions in the same season.

With Lawson and Iwasa both pushing for F1, Red Bull’s decision over how long they see Perez in the team for will likely have a huge impact their junior set-up, including the careers of Tsunoda and De Vries.