Another busy day in the world of Formula 1 is in the books, with the Red Bull future of Sergio Perez once more a major talking point.
Perez is under contract at Red Bull until the end of 2024, but with Daniel Ricciardo known to have an eye on his seat for 2025, it seems neither of them are alone in that ambition.
Elsewhere, Nico Rosberg explained why he banned his family from saying “Formula 1” during summer breaks, while we also have an important update on the prospect of a Colombian Grand Prix in Formula 1. Without further ado then, let us dive into the action.
Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo have rivals for Red Bull seat
While Max Verstappen’s long-term future at Red Bull is secure, Perez does not have the same luxury, with his current deal set to expire following the 2024 campaign.
But, while it certainly is not new to hear that Ricciardo wants Perez’s spot, the reveal from Red Bull team principal Christian Horner that other drivers outside of their programme hold an interest in Perez’s seat, does add another layer to this situation.
“It’s not just from those drivers [Perez and Ricciardo] – it’s from drivers outside our spectrum as well regarding 2025,” Horner told Sky Sports News.
But does Sergio Perez remain with Red Bull for 2024?
Perez has seen his targeted title challenge crumble as F1 2023 has gone on, with the gap to runaway Championship leader and team-mate Verstappen now standing at 125 points.
Perez has somewhat stabilised his alarming drop in form, making the podium three times over the last four rounds, but that has not quelled talk that Red Bull may look to move him on at the end of the season.
Ex-Ferrari and McLaren driver Gerhard Berger does not think that will happen, but former Williams and Toyota racer Ralf Schumacher reckons it could.
“I think Perez will be replaced next year,” Schumacher told F1-Insider.com, adding that “there are some drivers who are just as good as Sergio, but at the same time would create more harmony in the team.”
Toto Wolff revisits Abu Dhabi 2021
That day, one of the most controversial grands prix of all time unfolded to determine the 2021 World Champion, with Verstappen emerging victorious.
A year-and-a-half on, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, who saw his driver Lewis Hamilton miss out on that record eighth World title, still cannot fully move on from this visit to Yas Marina Circuit.
“Both drivers started with equal points into this race,” Wolff said in an appearance on BBC Radio’s Desert Island Discs.
“Best man and best machine wins, and the best man that day didn’t win.”
Update on status of proposed Colombian Grand Prix
The ever-increasing popularity of Formula 1 has created something of a frenzy when it comes to promoters trying to secure a spot on the calendar.
That challenge is only likely to get greater still as the sport expands to 24 rounds for F1 2024, a number which Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has said means the season is now at its limit.
A potential new addition to the calendar down the line which has been mooted is Colombia, and ex-Williams and McLaren driver Juan Pablo Montoya went as far as to say the deal was “95%” done at one stage when speaking to Semana.com.
However, PlanetF1.com understands that his claim is wide of the mark.
Nico Rosberg opens up on “painful” family words during Lewis Hamilton battle
The pairing of Rosberg and Hamilton at Mercedes went down as one of the most volatile Formula 1 has seen, Hamilton beating Rosberg to the Drivers’ title in 2014 and 2015, before Rosberg took the glory in 2016.
Shortly after earning the status of 2016 World Champion, Rosberg announced his immediate retirement from the sport.
During the heat of battle though, Rosberg would struggle to get some downtime from the stresses of Formula 1 even over the summer break, thanks to his father Keke Rosberg and his father-in-law Bernd Wegener.
“I would come home and my father or father-in-law would tell me I should pick up boxing, and the reason was because Lewis was walking all over me the day before the race,” Rosberg told Sky Sports.
Sebastian Vettel addresses Formula E rumours
Rumours had flared up in recent days that four-time Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel was preparing to make his return to motorsport with a Formula E drive as part of the ABT Cupra team.
In theory, such a move would make sense, considering how the values of Formula E and Vettel, a keen environmental campaigner, match up well.
But, Vettel has now confirmed that this will not come to pass.
“I am not in negotiations to run in Formula E with ABT Cupra or with any other team,” he told the Spanish edition of Motorsport.com.