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Surprise F1 name tipped to partner Verstappen at Red Bull

Surprise F1 name tipped to partner Verstappen at Red Bull

Surprise F1 name tipped to partner Verstappen at Red Bull

Surprise F1 name tipped to partner Verstappen at Red Bull

With Sergio Perez out of contract at the end of 2024 and hardly impressing the team in the last year, the race to be Max Verstappen's next team-mate is hotting up.

Perez himself could still turn his form around and mount a charge next season that sees his deal extended, while Daniel Ricciardo is waiting in the wings at AlphaTauri and would be a safe option.

Lando Norris is also often linked with a Red Bull drive, although his current McLaren contract will see him remain at the papaya team until the end of 2025.

But Gazzetta dello Sport have linked another driver with the Red Bull seat – and it is none other than Ferrari man Carlos Sainz.

The Spaniard is in contract with the Scuderia until the end of 2024, as is his current team-mate Charles Leclerc.

READ MORE: Perez reveals worst F1 weekend EVER prompted Red Bull inquiry

Carlos Sainz partners Charles Leclerc at Ferrari for now
Could Carlos Sainz partner Max Verstappen at Red Bull in the future?

Deal on the table

But reportedly, Ferrari will be offering Leclerc a multi-year shiny new contract, while the offer on the table for Sainz won't be nearly as appealing – with it likely to be just a one-year extension.

That is despite the Spaniard being the only Ferrari man this year to win a race, triumphing in Singapore to deny Red Bull a clean sweep of all the grands prix in 2023.

Leclerc only managed to out-score his team-mate thanks to a late charge, with Sainz hampered by bad luck in Las Vegas before he endured a torrid end to the season in Abu Dhabi.

Sainz did come through the Red Bull driver academy though, partnering Verstappen in their Toro Rosso days.

Carlos Sainz moved away from the Red Bull family after a spell at Toro Rosso

But when the Dutchman got the call to jump up to the main Red Bull team, Sainz opted to ply his trade elsewhere – first at Renault, then McLaren and finally Ferrari.

If Red Bull did make a move for the Spaniard, it wouldn’t be the first time they have reclaimed one of their own. This year alone they have welcomed Ricciardo back into the fold at AlphaTauri.

Much will depend on how Ferrari tackle 2024, though. If they fail to produce a car that can challenge for the championship, any approach from Red Bull would suddenly look very appealing.

READ MORE: 4 F1 drivers who'll be delighted to see 2023 season enda multi-year shiny new contract

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