Christian Horner
Christian Horner’s comments mark the latest escalation of a furious row over Mercedes’ struggles with porpoising CREDIT: REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Reigning F1 champion Max Versateppen’s invincible 2023 season had negative implications for his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez. After getting beaten by his teammate in the same machinery with a significant margin, Checo struggled to keep his mental health intact. That led to a brutal dip in overall performance.

While Sergio Perez registered his best career finish in championship standings, the 200+ points gap to Max Verstappen overshadowed his achievements. Moreover, with the Mexican driver’s contract expiring by the end of the 2024 season, talks of replacement have intensified. Amid uncertainties, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner opened up on Checo’s future and also made a sensational claim.


Red Bull Boss Christian Horner Defiant To Replace Checo In 2024!

Red Bull
Christian Horner and Sergio Perez (Image: Dan Mullan – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Red Bull Racing’s team principal, Christian Horner, confirmed that Sergio Perez remains his first choice for the team’s second seat. He will drive the RB20 in 2024, and if he manages to challenge Max Verstappen, the drink-based outfit is willing to table an extension offer. However, Horner did not rule out chances of replacement. He says that Red Bull’s second seat is popular amongst the grid. Not only that, the team boss suggested that rival drivers are so desperate to replace Checo that they have offered to drive for free. The statement comes against the backdrop of the team’s recent success in the 2023 Formula 1 season, wherein they clinched both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships.

However, Christian Horner refused to let out the names of the drivers who made such ridiculous offers. Having said that, the Red Bull boss remains defiant to replace Checo in the near future. “Checo is our driver. If he does well, we’ll want to keep him for 2025. But it’s all about how he performs in relation to his teammate,” said Horner. The 2024 season will result in the contract expiration of multiple top-tier drivers. Thus, with Perez’s place under scanner, the desperation of those drivers is understandable. However, owing to the backlash that unfolded after Nyck De Vries’s exit, Bull wants to avoid bad PR by leaving Checo hanging. Therefore, at least for the first half of the 2024 season, Checo will be seen driving the invincible beast, RB20. The future beyond that is up in the air for now.

Daniel Ricciardo Not The Obvious Choice For Checo’s Replacement!

Red Bull
Sergio Perez may come under pressure from Daniel Ricciardo for his Red Bull seat this year (Image: Getty Images for Oracle Red Bull)

Daniel Ricciardo reunited with Red Bull last off-season after a brutal stint with McLaren. However, due to a lack of seat availability, Ricciardo settled as a reserve driver. But in a twist in the tale, Daniel joined AlphaTauri as he sensed an opening at Red Bull owing to Checo’s dip in performance. He believed he could replace Perez when the time came.

However, as per fresh media reports, Daniel Ricciardo is no longer the obvious replacement for Sergio Perez. Despite his impeccable talent, the drink-based outfit is keen on looking for outside help. While the Australian driver insists on having his fairytale ending with the Bulls, the team management does not seem on board with it. But ultimately, Ricciardo remains in the scheme of things, if not the first choice.