June 21, 2024
Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez is battling to secure his Red Bull future, but he faces stiff competition from the in-demand Carlos Sainz.
Sergio Perez’s claim that confirmation of a new Red Bull contract is ‘just a matter of time’ may have been a premature one. Reports ahead of the Miami Grand Prix suggest that the reigning champions’ interest in Carlos Sainz is ‘concrete’ and that Checo still faces a fight to secure his future.

Both Perez and Sainz are out of contract at the end of the year, but the latter’s situation comes with an unfortunate caveat. Since the news broke that Lewis Hamilton would be replacing him at Ferrari for the 2025 campaign and beyond, the Spaniard has roared into form, scoring two podiums and a Grand Prix victory in his first three starts in 2024.

Red Bull’s incumbent driver has also enjoyed a strong start to the year, scoring four podiums and a P5 in Australia. However, with Perez’s strugglers of yesteryear firmly in the minds of Helmut Marko and Christian Horner, the Milton Keynes-based outfit are reluctant to agree to the lengthy contract terms the Mexican is chasing.

Perez addressed his feelings about his chances of winning a new deal ahead of the Miami Grand Prix. He explained: “Well I think like everyone that hasn’t done a contract… until you don’t have that in paper fully signed then everything remains an option.

Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz is a leading contender for the second Red Bull seat next season (Image: Getty)

“So right now it’s not really the main priority. We are in a period of time [where] obviously the driver market is making things go a lot earlier with Lewis joining Ferrari earlier in the year.

“It meant that everyone is looking for the best possible option that they can get, but I believe it’s just a matter of time and obviously right now the priority is on the season, is on the races, is [on] preparing the races with the team and the rest will take care of itself.”

However, according to a report from Formu1a.uno, Perez’s comments may have been somewhat premature. The Milton Keynes-based outfit allegedly have ‘concrete interest in signing Sainz following his immense start to the 2024 campaign with a decision about Max Verstappen’s team-mate for next year still some way off.

This follows a report from ESPN correspondent Antonio Lobato that claimed Sainz has missed the deadline to sign for Sauber next year with the leading factor in his decision to turn down the switch being a belief that a move to Red Bull could be on the cards.

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