Sergio Perez extends contract with Red Bull Racing until 2024
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Pierre Gasly has been told to keep his head down after Sergio Perez enjoyed a week to remember having won the Monaco Grand Prix days after penning his new contract with Red Bull. The Mexican star is set to drive under their banner until the end of 2024, while Max Verstappen is signed on with the Formula 1 kingpins until at least 2028.
Perez’s extension has seemingly all but ended the chatter of Gasly potentially rejoining the team in the near future, however. The Frenchman failed to impress when he had a short stint as Max Verstappen’s partner in 2019, though he’s made more of an impact since returning to sister team AlphaTauri (rebranded from Toro Rosso in 2020).
Ex-F1 star Felipe Massa recently said the sport’s elite can’t afford to ignore Gasly, 26, for much longer given that turn-up in form. But Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko believes it’s in Gasly’s best interests to keep his head down at AlphaTauri, suggesting there are no better options in sight.
“Before Perez signed his contract, of course I spoke to Gasly,” Marko told Formel1.de (in German). “We have to see what happens after 2023. What is the alternative for him? I don’t think at the moment there is an alternative that would be significantly better than AlphaTauri.”
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Marko is somewhat biased on the matter considering it benefits Red Bull to have better drivers on hand with their sister outfit. Yuki Tsunoda, 22, has also made a positive impression since joining AlphaTauri last year and sits two places above his team-mate in the drivers’ standings.
Victory in Monte Carlo saw Perez reduce the gap to second-placed Charles Leclerc in the current table. There’s now just 15 points between pace-setter Verstappen and Perez in third, giving Red Bull little reason to shake things up at present.
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“On Friday prior to the practice sessions in Monaco, we signed the contract, so Checo could further concentrate on the race weekend,” added Marko. “If you look at Red Bull’s history, there is one particular characteristic that sets us apart: our continuity and planning ahead. So we wanted to be clear about the next few years.”
With Ferrari and Mercedes seemingly set on their respective driving teams until the end of 2024, Gasly may not have a foreseeable future with one of F1’s ‘big three’. McLaren could enter the picture if Daniel Ricciardo leaves the Woking-based outfit this summer, though that remains a big ‘if’ despite the Australian’s struggle for form in 2022.
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