Horner makes clear his ‘intent’ statement on Perez’s F1 future

Horner makes clear his ‘intent’ statement on Perez’s F1 future

Perez is coming off a difficult spell at Red Bull, sparking speculation that his place alongside Max Verstappen in the team could be in doubt for 2024, despite being under contract.

These theories were reinforced after the Mexican Grand Prix, where Horner said that the team’s “intention” was to keep Perez for next season.

The use of this specific word was interesting because it is often used in Formula 1 to ambiguously indicate that one thing is happening when the reality is that something else is happening.

Speaking in Mexico City about Perez’s future, Horner said: “Chico has an agreement with us for next year and that is our intention, for him to be in the car in 2024.

He added: “We will provide him with all possible support to ensure that he finishes second (in the drivers’ championship), but there is no precondition that if he does not finish second, he will be disqualified.”

When asked by Motorsport.com in Brazil if there was anything significant in his choice of the word “intent”, Horner explained that there was no doubt that Perez would be with the team next year – and it was circumstances beyond the team’s control that prompted us. So. I mean, it won’t be.

“I am completely confident and clear that Chico will be our driver next year,” Horner explained.

“Now, if he gets injured or something like that, there are circumstances beyond our control. But the clear plan and therefore the clear intention is that he will continue.

“We plan to continue. We have announced the AlphaTauri drivers, we have the Red Bull Racing drivers. This is the way we intend to race in 2024.”

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing Team, with his engineer and Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing Team

Photography: Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing Team, with his engineer and Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing Team

While Horner has found himself having to continually deny speculation that Perez’s future is in doubt, he insists the persistent rumors have had no impact on Red Bull.

“It doesn’t happen because it’s just noise outside. Inside, everything is always clear,” he said.

However, he acknowledged that it would have been impossible for Perez to completely isolate himself from matters – although he believes the Mexican is capable of dealing with such chatter.

Asked if it had affected Perez, Horner said: “I’m sure it has. But I think what we’ve seen with him, one of his strengths is that he has very thick skin.

“A lot of times he would get up, clean himself up, and get back up again. So I hope he’ll do the same now.”

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