In F1 2025, Red Bull might hire someone to take Perez’s place

When his Formula One contract expires in 2024, Sergio Perez and Red Bull have made the strongest indications that they will be considering other options. However, to whom could Red Bull turn?
Red Bull

(Motorsports news) Red Bull recently signed Perez in an effort to find a driver who could support Max Verstappen, who is the team’s uncontested leader, and provide the Milton Keynes team with enough podium finishes to win the constructors’ championship. After being pitted against the lions early in their F1 careers, its young drivers Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon didn’t work out, but the much more seasoned Perez held his own, taking five of his six career victories in just under three years with Red Bull so far.

Perez’s hopes of competing for the championship with Verstappen were revived by his most recent victories at the beginning of 2023, but the Dutchman retaliated fiercely with a record streak of 10 straight victories, which took the wind out of Perez’ sails. The Mexican driver’s contract with Red Bull expires at the end of 2024, but in a recent interview with Spanish rights-holder DAZN, he gave the strongest indication yet that he would not, under any circumstances, consider renewing it. He may have realized that Red Bull’s cars will continue to be built around his teammate.

With the season we’ve had, it’s crucial that in the upcoming races, I also want to be in a setting where I feel like I can contribute, the driver said. And if this location isn’t available in 2024, we’ll need to find another one. But right now, winning more races and championships with Red Bull are my top priorities. “I have a contract that runs through next year, so we’ll talk sometime then,”

Re-signing isn’t a guarantee for Perez, and Red Bull isn’t either; the team hasn’t really ceased searching for the best driver to fill its second seat. Christian Horner, the team’s manager, said in Italian: “In ’25 we have one seat open and, as you can imagine, there’s not a shortage of interest in that seat.”

But who could Red Bull realistically turn to in 2025 to replace Perez?

Lando Norris:

In recent interviews with Austrian media, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko publicly pursued Lando Norris of McLaren, who he nearly signed before the driver made his F1 debut with McLaren in 2019. Before Norris agreed to an extension of his contract with the Woking team, it also had preliminary discussions with him.

“Norris’ contract is valid until 2025. He would be one of the candidates, therefore it’s unfortunate that it’s for so long,” he told ServusTV. “He’d be perfect for us in terms of youth and speed,” said the captain. In his interview with Kleine Zeitung, Marko further stated that Norris is “by far the strongest of the young drivers.” Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren, quickly shot down rumors that Norris’ contract could be bought out before 2025, stating that Norris “will be racing at McLaren through 2025.” Of course.

There is no reason to disbelieve Brown, but his statements might also serve as an opening position in any discussions, and wheeler and trader Brown is well aware that bargains must be made in the last years of contracts. Additionally, McLaren has not yet agreed to supply engines through 2026, which may either make any arrangement including Norris more difficult or more lucrative.

Oscar Piastri:

If a transaction involving Norris proves to be too complicated, Red Bull may decide to work with his teammate Oscar Piastri. Piastri has had the best rookie season in a long time and is increasingly competitive with Norris. The good news for Red Bull is that Piastri’s contract only lasts until 2024, so if it decides he’s the perfect kind of driver for the job, it might make a move for the unflappable Australian.

Daniel Ricciardo:

It was obvious from away that Ricciardo was giving a test run for a 2025 return with the main squad when he unexpectedly made his first F1 comeback in Hungary to replace the underwhelming Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri. A fractured hand has stymied Ricciardo’s comeback, and he will miss at least four races as a result. It is a major setback that has dampened the excitement around his comeback, but Ricciardo showed glimpses of his former self in the two races he competed in with AlphaTauri, and if he can complete the season well, he looks like he will keep his place for 2024.

Ricciardo, who will turn 36 in 2025, does not fit Marko’s “youth and speed” narrative, but he is an accomplished driver like Perez who can regularly produce results. He wanted to move out of Verstappen’s shadow when he left for Renault, but at this point in his career, that is no longer a concern, and simply getting back into a competitive seat would be a success.

Charles Leclerc:

Leclerc is a significant player in the upcoming silly season, similar to Norris. The timing would be ideal for Red Bull because the Monegasque driver is committed to Maranello through the end of 2024. Leclerc’s future will depend on whether he thinks Ferrari will be able to compete for titles again. He is adamant about staying with the Scuderia to whom he has such a strong connection.

Leclerc would have to make a difficult decision to leave Ferrari, but if he believes significant success is not possible, then a number of teams may be interested in hiring him.
According to reports, Aston Martin has already enquired about his availability, and he might serve as Perez’s replacement. Leclerc and Verstappen get along well, similar to Norris.

Also read: Wolff says that Hamilton stands out in F1 for his candor regarding mistakes


Share The Article:

Leave A Reply

Related news