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Perez optimistic of remaining with Red Bull beyond 2024 as Verstappen praises ‘logical’ Sprint tweaks in Shanghai

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Red Bull’s Mexican charge Sergio Perez has said that he’s feeling optimistic about his chances of remaining with the squad in 2025 – with a number of drivers thought to be interested in taking his spot when his contract comes up at the end of the year.

Perez joined Red Bull for the 2021 season, and has watched on as team mate Max Verstappen has hoovered up every drivers’ championship since then.

But having started his 2024 with P2 in three of the four Grands Prix so far – and qualifying within 0.066s of Verstappen at Suzuka last time out – Perez is feeling confident about his chances of remaining with Red Bull beyond this season, despite a number of drivers, including the likes of Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda, believed to be vying for his seat.

READ MORE: Leclerc plans response after admitting team mate Sainz is ‘doing a better job’ so far this season

“I am,” said Perez, when asked if he was optimistic about his chances of staying on for a fifth term at the squad – and on the back of the news that Fernando Alonso, who was also believed to have shown interest in the second Red Bull seat, has instead opted to freshly renew his contract at Aston Martin.

“I think obviously the market this year is a lot earlier than we all would like… I think we’re going through a good momentum. It’s been a very good start for the team and I think the priority right now is to perform on track, to get the results, and the rest will take care of itself.”

'New Sprint format is better' - Max Verstappen looking forward to racing at Shanghai again

Verstappen arrives in Shanghai having won 50% of all F1 races since the sport last raced here in 2019 – when Formula 1 celebrated its 1,000th Grand Prix.

Asked what he was expecting from the Sprint weekend in China – with teams allowed to tweak their cars both before Sprint Qualifying on Friday and after the Sprint on Saturday – Verstappen replied: “There are a lot of unknowns from the track, not having raced here with this new generation of cars.

READ MORE: ‘It’s probably my last contract’ – Alonso reflects on new Aston Martin deal as he predicts ‘things are in place’ to become a ‘powerful team’

“I think FP1 of course again is going to be very important to get hopefully quickly in the good rhythm, and honestly just work from there, see what you get.

“I do think that the new Sprint format is better, it gives you also more opportunity to work on the car. It seems all a bit more logical I would say, and that’s what we needed… I’m just excited to be here and just hopefully have a good weekend here.”

Having won three of the opening four Grands Prix in 2024, Verstappen heads Perez by 13 points in the drivers’ standings – while this weekend, both drivers will be keen to claim the team’s 100th pole position, 15 years on from Sebastian Vettel claiming their first, and first victory, at the same circuit.

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