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Horner fears F1 rival could POACH star driver from Red Bull

Horner fears F1 rival could POACH star driver from Red Bull

Horner fears F1 rival could POACH star driver from Red Bull

Horner fears F1 rival could POACH star driver from Red Bull

Christian Horner has stated that Carlos Sainz is targeting a Red Bull seat alongside Max Verstappen for 2025.

Spaniard Sainz will be replaced at Ferrari by Lewis Hamilton ahead of the 2025 season, with the seven-time world champion teaming up with the most successful team on the Formula 1 grid in a last-ditch attempt to win an unprecedented eighth title.

READ MORE: FIA announce crucial top three UPDATE in China after investigating F1 star

This means that Sainz, who is the only non-Red Bull driver to have won a race since the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix, does not currently have a spot in the sport for beyond the end of this season.

There have been a plethora of rumours linking Sainz with various teams including Mercedes, Aston Martin, Sauber and, indeed, Red Bull.

Carlos Sainz is looking for a new opportunity
Might Sergio Perez be replaced by Carlos Sainz?

Red Bull's 2025 driver options

World champions Red Bull are currently in the process of weighing up their options for 2025, with Sergio Perez's contract set to expire at the end of 2024, and a driver market that is seemingly in overdrive at this stage of the season.

Helmut Marko recently suggested that Sainz's form had turned the heads of the team, but that the Spaniard had received a big offer from Audi which the Milton Keynes-based squad could not match.

Now, Horner has suggested that Red Bull are not in any hurry to make a decision, particularly given the strong early season form of Perez.

“First of all, we’re not aware of the offer that has been made, but obviously Audi coming into the sport, one would assume that they’re going to be quite aggressive in the driver market," Horner told Sky Sports at the Chinese GP.

“But as you can tell, with the level of interest we’ve had from other drivers in our seats that for a driver of Carlos' calibre, he wants to be in a winning car and whilst we have one seat available for next year, his target inevitably is that seat.

“But his problem is that Checo is in that seat and he’s doing a very good job so for us as a team it’s a luxury situation but one that we don’t need to rush and we’ll take our time to consider the options.”

Pressed on his driver lineup for 2025, Horner said: “If Checo retains the consistency we’ve seen in the first four races, then there would be no need to change our line-up but we’re only at race five and, obviously, it’s only a very early point in the year but, you know, Checo’s doing a great job, we’re very pleased with what he’s doing but it’s important he maintains that vain of form.”

READ MORE: Marko reveals 'unbeatable' Sainz contract offer after confirming talks

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