Formula 1: Sergio Perez signs 2-year extension to remain at Red Bull Racing

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26: Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing arrives in the paddock prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 26, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Kym Illman/Getty Images)
Sergio Perez is staying at Red Bull Racing. (Photo by Kym Illman/Getty Images)

Sergio Perez isn’t going anywhere.

Red Bull announced Tuesday that Perez had signed a two-year contract extension through the 2026 Formula 1 season. Perez had been set to be a free agent at the end of the season.

"Now is an important time to confirm our line-up for 2025 and we are very pleased to continue working together with Checo," Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said in a statement. "Continuity and stability are important for the Team and both Checo and Max [Verstappen] are a successful and robust partnership, securing our first ever one-two finish for the team in the championship last year. Checo has had a strong start to 2024 with second places in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Japan and then his podium in China. The past few races have been tough, there is convergence on the grid, but we are confident in Checo and look forward to his return to proven form and performance, that we so often see."

Perez was caught in an opening lap crash at Monaco after he started 16th following an elimination in the first round of qualifying. He was eighth in the previous race at Imola after starting 11th.

Perez’s future at Red Bull has been murky since Max Verstappen became the most dominant driver in the series. As Verstappen has won 49 of 74 races and three championships since the start of 2022, Perez has just four victories in that span.

A season ago, Perez finished second in the standings with two wins thanks to how dominant Red Bull’s car was. Even though he was on the fastest team in the series, Perez had serious issues in qualifying. Perez’s average starting position was 9.3 and ranked 10th among 20 drivers.

The car’s speed ultimately won out over the course of a race. As Verstappen had an absurd average finish of 1.3, Perez was second in the series at 5.9.

Perez’s contract extension likely keeps Red Bull’s driver lineup intact for the next two seasons. Verstappen is locked into a long-term contract with the team and rumors of a push by Mercedes to lure Verstappen to replace Lewis Hamilton have seemed to disappear. Lead Red Bull designer Adrian Newey announced he was leaving the team this season in the wake of the controversy that surrounded Horner at the start of the season.

With Perez staying at Red Bull, the free-agent options for Carlos Sainz continue to dwindle for the 2025 season. The Ferrari driver is getting replaced by Hamilton. Sauber — soon to be the Audi factory team in 2026 — and Williams have been mentioned as possible destinations for him. Mercedes may be a long-shot option, though the team could promote 17-year-old junior driver Kimi Antonelli to replace Hamilton next season.