Helmut Marko won’t meet Sergio Perez contract demands as Red Bull eye another F1 star

The Mexican driver’s contract with Red Bull expires at the end of this season, and while there’s a chance he’ll sign another one, the Formula One champions are weighing all of their options.

Red Bull is hesitant to grant Sergio Perez’s request for a multi-year contract, even though they might give Alex Albon a happily ever after return to his former position.

With a strong start to the new season, Perez has not harmed his chances of obtaining a new contract. For the first four races, he has three podium finishes to his name, but his qualifying performance has significantly improved from 2023‘s disastrous results.

Red Bull currently believes that Perez should lose the second seat, which is shared by Max Verstappen. With the best team in Formula One, the 34-year-old has propelled himself back into the running for a 2025 spot.

But apparently not unless he gives in to one of his main demands from the contract. In order to guarantee his spot on the Formula One grid in 2026, the Mexican wants a multi-year contract, but Red Bull would rather keep the seat unoccupied for the long run.

Additionally, after Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix, adviser Helmut Marko—who has a big say in who drives for Red Bull’s two F1 teams—explained why he is hesitant to give Perez the security he desires. The Austrian stated, “There is a risk that he will slack off if he has a secure contract for two years.”

The fact that Red Bull is considering the possibility of bringing Albon back into the fold is another reason they are unwilling to offer Perez a 2026 contract. After the 2020 season, Perez took over for the British-Thai racer, who was left without a drive for the following season.

In 2022, he rejoined Williams on the Formula One grid thanks to a deal mediated by Christian Horner. Albon’s official relationship with Red Bull ended when his remarkable performances landed him a long-term contract, but his outstanding results from the previous year have catapulted him back into the running for the top spots.

Williams maintains that Albon has a contract through 2025 and they are unwilling to let go of their top driver. Albon is devoted to the Oxfordshire-based team, but he is aware that, at 28, he is getting close to his prime and would prefer to spend it on the podium and winning races rather than idling around the back of the field.

Contrary to some reports, Red Bull has not yet made Albon a formal offer. It is believed, nevertheless, that the F1 winners have requested first dibs on a 2026 contract in order to position themselves to be able to sign him should his outstanding performance continue.

Red Bull will require a short-term option for that seat starting in the next year if they decide to move forward with that plan. Perez might still be able to secure a new contract if he is content to take merely a one-year extension and the chance to serve as a stopgap until Albon shows up.

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