Sergio Perez was retained by Red Bull as he looks to finish his F1 career with the team, but it gathered views from Max Verstappen, Yuki Tsunoda, Daniel Ricciardo and even Carlos Sainz.

While it was not hugely surprising for Red Bull to retain Perez but getting a two-year deal did catch out some which keeps the same line-up of the Mexican and Verstappen until the 2026 F1 season, where the Dutchman has even longer contract.

Perez was not the only contender for the seat with the likes of Ricciardo, Tsunoda and even Sainz who popped up in reports. The Mexican remained a front runner considering the stability that Red Bull wanted, especially with the F1 titles in their pocket.

For Perez, it could be his last deal as he wants to end his career at Red Bull, even though he did hold discussions with other outfits. As for the notion of him being retained to keep Verstappen happy, the Mexican said he cannot change thoughts of viewers per se.

The ‘outsider’ Sainz, though, was not surprised by the news as he knew it was coming. The same went for both Visa Cash App RB drivers Ricciardo and Tsunoda. The Australian admits he didn’t do enough to warrant a seat after pre-season optimism.

At the moment, he is looking to remain in F1 with RB, which is the same for Tsunoda. The Japanese driver had some hopes but wants Red Bull to check out his progress since his first run. Their mindset isn’t any different from before despite being snubbed.

Negotiations, if talked elsewhere –

Perez: “I think like every negotiation, you always have a process to go through, which is not always really nice to do it in between the races where everything is flat out. So it’s really nice to get this distraction for the team and for myself out of the way so that we can focus on pure performance. And I think that’s the best thing for our team. I obviously feel happy once you get an agreement. It really means that both parties are happy with what we got, and happy to move forward. And obviously, we’ve got great targets ahead of us. Red Bull is a team that really takes everything out of you. It’s something that since I came here, the amount of how intense everything is on track, off track, and it’s a challenge you don’t have anywhere else.

“I haven’t had that sort of challenge in my career. When I sign, I’m really up for it and willing to give my 100%. It was just a very straightforward negotiation. Obviously, I’ve been in the team for a few years already, so it’s always, I think, when you are already there, it’s a lot easier to reach an agreement. Elsewhere, you’re always talking to two different teams. There were other options out there, but for me, my plan A, B, and C was definitely to stay at Red Bull. I really want to finish my career here, wherever that is. It’s a team that has given me so much into my career that I’m just really happy. And yeah, I just want to give my best to this team until my last lap.”

Last contract –

Perez: “Certainly when you look at Fernando or even Lewis, there’s a long way to go. But I think I didn’t sign my last contract. I don’t think I’ve done that. I don’t think it’s something that you feel. Because when you commit to two years in Formula 1, it’s a lot of time, a lot of energy, and it’s a long way down the line. So yeah, to be honest, I don’t really think about that. But yeah, what I’m pretty sure about is that I want to finish my career at Red Bull.”

Talks of being retained to keep Verstappen happy –

Perez: “I think in Formula 1, there are always different agendas, and I really get that. It’s something that has been with every driver since we got in the sport. And I think the best thing to do is just to close the visor and focus on my job, do the best for myself, for my career. And at the end of the day, when my career is finished, it’s the only thing that will matter to me. What people have to say or not… I mean, I appreciate that everyone has their opinion, but at the end of the day, I’m here to do the best for my career and I’m happy with what I have achieved.”

Perez retained –

Verstappen: “It’s good. I mean, I’m happy for himself as well. I’m happy that he’s staying. We always worked really well. It brings stability with the team. And that is something that I think is also very important within the team.”

Ricciardo: “I think it’s…look, doesn’t… I don’t think it means anything from a ‘oh, that’s it’ in terms of like, I don’t see it as ‘Oh, it’s, you know, maybe I won’t get a chance’ or anything. I mean, personally, I’ve had one amazing result in Miami, but then the rest of my season has been not really obviously what I expect out of myself. So, I know that. I want my season to go better than it is to really help with any opportunities like that. I’m also realistic. But we are, even though, each weekend, maybe it’s one step forward, and then maybe only… I don’t know, I feel like it would… I still want it to be progressing quicker. I do think we are taking steps forward. I still believe I can turn it around, just do better moving forward. Click some button. Obviously if I’m… if I’m here next year, then that’ll also make me happy.”

Tsunoda: “No, I mean, I knew it kind of before already. These two years you know he has to still perform and in this kind of environment anything can happen. So, I mean congrats to him and other than that for me just keep focusing on what I’m doing and just proving myself.”

Sainz: “I already knew for a while, obviously, so nothing new for me, obviously, on my personal conversations with a team, this was something I knew for a long time now. So yeah, nothing to say, nothing to add. Still plenty of options on the table. So everything goes.”

Mindset now –

Ricciardo: “Definitely. So that’s, I mean, that was already…I got asked in Monaco. That was already where my head was at. Because as I said, Miami was that, but I haven’t really done enough to really raise hairs, I don’t know, give people the goose skin. So just try and do that more. And then that’s it. To be honest, the mindset hasn’t changed. I think it’s just, you get to…we’re not halfway through the season yet but we’re fairly into it now. And as I said, I’ve had one result which I was really really very happy with and then others which, I’ve been maybe less less so…and so I just I guess hold myself probably accountable for not doing anything too spectacular.

“When you’re obviously trying to fight for a top seat, you know, you need to be doing some pretty awesome things. So look, that’s why I say: I don’t think it means it will never happen. It’s still a place I’d love to say finish my career, but obviously in the now short term that’s not going to happen. So, mindset wise, that was still kind of an end goal. But right now, I’m here. To stay I need to do well and get some more points. I’m happy doing that here. The team is doing a good job to help me out with that. So it’s just up to me.”

Tsunoda: “The best season for life so far. It will come more from the future, so I’m not really rushed. Like I said, I think the good things are that the other teams are starting to get interested in me, which is a good thing. Just have to grow more and at the same time, hopefully, Red Bull will understand more or see more of my progress. I would say potential performance and maybe can change in the future.”

Here’s Kevin Magnussen on Sergio Perez

Here’s Sergio Perez signing again with Red Bull

Here’s Yuki Tsunoda on his situation

Here’s Max Verstappen, Christian Horner on issues

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