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Red Bull chief claims team 'pressuring' star driver into contract

Red Bull chief claims team 'pressuring' star driver into contract

Red Bull chief claims team 'pressuring' star driver into contract

Red Bull chief claims team 'pressuring' star driver into contract

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has revealed a rival team is pushing for a swift decision from an out-of-contract star.

Formula 1's driver market continues to churn, and one of the sport's hottest properties finds himself in an unexpected position.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Hamilton and Ferrari chief had meals together years before 2025 signing

Despite a stellar 2024 campaign so far that includes a win at the Australian Grand Prix and podium finishes in every race he's completed in the first four rounds (missing only Saudi Arabia due to surgery for appendicitis), Carlos Sainz faces an uncertain future after Ferrari opted to replace him with Lewis Hamilton for 2025.

However, Sainz's impressive form has attracted interest from several teams. Audi, a powerhouse brand entering the grid soon, is reportedly keen on the Spaniard to bolster their lineup.

A potential switch to Mercedes could also be on the cards, with Sainz potentially filling the void left by Hamilton's departure to Ferrari.

Even Red Bull, where Sergio Perez's contract expires next year, has been floated as a possibility, though the Mexican driver's strong showing this season complicates matters.

READ MORE: Hamilton makes STUNNING claim on F1 future amid Ferrari contract uncertainty

Carlos Sainz will be replaced by Lewis Hamilton in 2025
The Spaniard has several potential destinations to evaluate

Marko acknowledges pressure on Sainz

Helmut Marko recently offered some intriguing insights into Sainz's situation with Sky Germany after FP1 at the Chinese GP.

Asked what the chances are for Red Bull to persuade Sainz to join the Milton Keynes squad, the Austrian said: "As long as Sergio does a good job like he's doing at the moment, it's not an issue at all.

"There is a certain time pressure. If we are correctly informed, then Audi are putting pressure on Sainz and they would like an answer as soon as possible. We're certainly not ready to make a decision yet."

Sergio Perez has finished second behind his team-mate Max Verstappen in three of the first four races of the season and is currently sitting second in the drivers' standings.

While not explicitly confirming Red Bull's interest in Sainz, Marko left the door open. Asked whether there is a possibility, Marko said: "Again, Sergio Perez is currently having his best season with us since he joined Red Bull. There is actually no reason but you always have to ask around, orientate yourself and look into the future.

"We know Sainz. He started his career with us at Toro Rosso together with Max. But as I said, nothing is concrete at all."

Red Bull boss Christian Horner also stressed during the Chinese GP weekend that, despite them being happy with Perez's performance, they prioritise maintaining consistency throughout the season before evaluating their options.

READ MORE: Horner throws Perez future into doubt after new Red Bull lineup talks

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Red Bull Mercedes Lewis Hamilton Ferrari Formula 1 Carlos Sainz
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