Red Bull urged to act ‘now’ with no time to waste as Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz rumours swirl

Oliver Harden
Carlos Sainz blurry in the background of a Fernando Alonso side-profile shot with a small Red Bull logo in the bottom-left corner

Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz are both rumoured to be in the hunt for a 2025 Red Bull drive

Red Bull should act “now” and make moves to replace Sergio Perez with either Fernando Alonso or Carlos Sainz for the F1 2025 season.

That is the opinion of former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher, who believes there is no time to waste with the driver market currently in “the hot phase.”

Red Bull urged to drop Perez with Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz available

Despite an encouraging start to the season, which has seen him finish second to team-mate Max Verstappen in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Perez’s future is uncertain with his current Red Bull contract due to expire at the end of 2024.

Perez claimed ahead of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix that it is “just a matter of time” before he begins negotiations over a new deal with Red Bull, insisting both parties are “happy” with each other.

However, Red Bull have been linked with a number of alternatives with Sainz – a product of the team’s illustrious driver academy – available for 2025 after losing his Ferrari seat to seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

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Reports this week, meanwhile, claimed Alonso is “pushing very hard” to join Red Bull next season, with the two-time title winner out of contract at Aston Martin at the end of this season.

Red Bull have frequently insisted they are prepared to wait before finalising their 2025 driver line-up, but former Williams driver Schumacher has urged the team to act now with so many appealing options available.

He told Sky Germany: “I don’t quite believe that the decision at Red Bull will only be made in the summer.

“Now is the hot phase, now Sainz is on the market.

“It has to be done now. Perez is a candidate who has to vacate the cockpit.

“Alonso is also still on the market. That’s why Red Bull has to make a decision now.”

After being pictured shaking hands with Sainz on Friday at Suzuka, long-serving Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko admitted after qualifying that the Ferrari driver “is certainly a name to consider” for 2025.

A return to the Red Bull fold would see Sainz reunited with Verstappen, with whom he reportedly had a tense relationship at junior team Toro Rosso in 2015/16 ahead of Verstappen’s promotion to the senior team.

Sainz spent another 18 months at Toro Rosso before leaving Red Bull permanently, joining Ferrari in 2021 following spells with Renault and McLaren.

Having already overlooked Sainz for a promotion to Red Bull, Schumacher feels the 29-year-old will not be top of Marko’s shortlist when it comes to seeking replacements for Perez.

He said: “As far as Dr Helmut Marko is concerned, I don’t think Sainz will be the number-one priority, because he already let him go once.

“Back then, he basically swapped him for Max because he thought that Max was clearly the better driver.

“So it will be difficult for Carlos if Dr Marko makes the decision.”

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