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Sergio Perez signs new contract as Red Bull plans for 2026 revealed

Sergio Perez has signed a new two-year contract with Red Bull, ending speculation that the world champions will sign free agent Carlos Sainz.

The 34-year-old’s deal was set to expire at the end of the year but despite the Mexican enduring a slump in the last month following a strong start to the season, team principal Christian Horner has opted to keep Perez as Max Verstappen’s team-mate for next year and beyond.

The new contract is a two-year extension, taking him to the end of the 2026 campaign. It will take Perez’s time at Red Bull to six years, having joined prior to the 2021 season.

It means other drivers eyeing Red Bull’s second seat, such as Sainz and RB pairing Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda, will have to look elsewhere for next year.

Horner said: “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.

“Last year was a unicorn season and we will need to work hard to retain our titles, but we are assured in our line up and with the team as a whole, which is imperative in what is shaping up to be a close fought championship this year.

“Now is an important time to confirm our line-up for 2025 and we are very pleased to continue working together with Checo.”

Verstappen, meanwhile, has a contract until the end of 2028 but has been linked with Mercedes after the furore surrounding Christian Horner at the start of this season. A move to the Silver Arrows would, however, depend on Toto Wolff’s team providing a competitive car for the new era of regulations from 2026.

Sergio Perez will continue as Max Verstappen’s team-mate in 2025 (Getty Images)
Sergio Perez will continue as Max Verstappen’s team-mate in 2025 (Getty Images)

As for Perez, he finished second in the drivers’ championship last year - his best-ever finish in F1 - but won just two races in 2023 compared to Verstappen’s haul of 19.

He has won five races since replacing Alex Albon after the 2020 season and, having penned a new deal, will race for a 15th consecutive season in Formula 1 in 2025.

Perez added: “I am really happy to commit my future to this great team. It is a challenge like no other racing for Red Bull, both on and off track.

“Being part of the team is an immense challenge and one I love. We have a great challenge this year and I have full trust in the whole team that the future is bright here and I am excited to be a part of it.

Perez won the Monaco Grand Prix in 2022 - his standout result as a Red Bull driver (EPA)
Perez won the Monaco Grand Prix in 2022 - his standout result as a Red Bull driver (EPA)

“I want to thank everyone for all the trust they are putting in me, it is a lot and I want to pay it back with excellent results on track and off track. I think we have a lot of work to do, we have a lot more championships to win together.”

Perez started his career at Sauber in 2011 and raced for McLaren and Force India/Racing Point prior to his move to Red Bull.

The Mexican was labelled the “Mexican minster for defence” after his heroic thwarting of Lewis Hamilton in the season-ending 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, thus helping Verstappen to catch the Mercedes driver mid-race.

Perez will be looking to bounce back in Canada this weekend after his massive first-lap crash last week in Monaco, when his Red Bull car was destroyed in a collision with Kevin Magnussen.