Carlos Sainz to Red Bull rumours in overdrive as Helmut Marko reveals Sergio Perez theory

Oliver Harden
Carlos Sainz with a Red Bull logo and Sergio Perez in separate insets

Is Carlos Sainz eyeing Sergio Perez's Red Bull seat for 2025?

Rumours that Carlos Sainz could join Red Bull are in overdrive after Helmut Marko admitted the Ferrari driver “is certainly a name to consider” for the F1 2025 season.

Despite receiving confirmation over the winter that he will lose his Ferrari seat to Lewis Hamilton for 2025, Sainz has enjoyed his best-ever start to a season in 2024, claiming his third career victory at last month’s Australian Grand Prix.

Carlos Sainz to replace Sergio Perez at Red Bull in F1 2025?

The Spaniard has been heavily linked with a switch to Sauber ahead of Audi’s highly anticipated F1 entry in 2026, but is believed to favour joining a team with more immediate victory prospects with seats theoretically available at Red Bull, Mercedes and Aston Martin.

Having started his career with Toro Rosso (now RB) in 2015, Sainz could emerge as a serious contender to replace Sergio Perez for 2025, with team principal Christian Horner admitting in Australia that Red Bull cannot rule out a move for their former junior star.

“We want to field the best pairing we can with Red Bull Racing so, sometimes, you’ve got to look outside the pool as well,” Horner said in Melbourne.

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“The market is reasonably fluid in certain parts. Based on a performance like that, you couldn’t rule any possibility out.”

And long-serving Red Bull adviser Marko – who was pictured shaking hands with Sainz in the paddock on Friday – has claimed the outgoing Ferrari man must feature on any list of potential replacements for Perez, whose current contract is due to expire at the end of 2024.

He told Sky Germany: “Sainz is in incredible form at the moment.

“Sainz came into Formula 1 through Red Bull and also had a very good year back then at Toro Rosso. Sainz is certainly a name to consider.”

“Normally we don’t talk about driver decisions at all in April, but somehow the whole thing seems to have moved forward a lot.

“But it’s still too early for us, we will certainly wait some time before we make a decision.”

Marko’s comments come after Perez claimed on the eve of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix it is “just a matter of time” before he opens talks with Red Bull over a new deal, insisting both team and driver are “happy” with each other after a solid start to the new season.

After finishing second to Verstappen at the opening two races in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Perez was once again impressive at qualifying at the challenging Suzuka circuit on Saturday, lapping within 0.066 seconds of his team-mate.

However, Marko has claimed that Perez’s current form is influenced by his determination to secure a new contract, having faded after a similarly strong start to the 2022 and 2023 campaigns.

He added: “You can see that he can do it.

“But perhaps the fact that next year’s contracts are at stake also plays a role, much earlier than usual this season.

“That also seems to be very motivating.”

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