Red Bull’s No.1 target identified as big payday option emerges for Charles Leclerc – F1 news round-up

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The Oracle Red Bull Racing logo on display at the Singapore Grand Prix

Red Bull are the last team to launch their 2024 challenger.

The F1 news cycle is still being powered by potential moves, even though the driver market is relatively stable as we approach the final portion of the F1 2023 season.

But attentions are already turning to F1 2024 and even further beyond as Red Bull will ultimately decide what to do with Sergio Perez and a whole host of other drivers, including Charles Leclerc, will have their longer-term futures resolved.

Here are the latest F1 news headlines from Sunday, October 1.

Is Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull’s number one choice?

Well, according to respected F1 analyst Lawrence Barretto, he suspects the Aussie is in pole position to return to the seat he had between 2014 and 2017 – should Red Bull decide to part company with Sergio Perez.

There is barely a day that goes by without Perez’s Red Bull future being questioned and his performances of late are doing very little to quieten those rumours.

With lots of talk about Lando Norris joining Red Bull, Barretto reckons Ricciardo could be first in line to partner Max Verstappen again, which in turn would create an opening for Liam Lawson, who has performed admirably alongside Yuki Tsunoda at AlphaTauri whilst covering for the currently injured Ricciardo.

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Where next for Charles Leclerc?

Charles Leclerc’s future with Ferrari also remains under the spotlight with his current contract with the Scuderia expiring at the end of the 2024 season.

And Autosport’s Matt Kew is of the opinion that both Red Bull and Mercedes would overlook Leclerc as the driver to partner Max Verstappen or George Russell in the years to come.

Instead, if the Ferrari dream was to come to an end for Leclerc, would he be tempted into taking a mega payday deal with new arrivals Audi ahead of the F1 2026 season?

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A big bust-up over in NASCAR

Yes, yes, yes, we hear your question already…’What’s a NASCAR story doing on a website called PlanetF1.com?’ – Well, sometimes a clip from the world of motorsport is just too good to ignore and the footage you can see here certainly fits into that category.

Two NASCAR Craftsman Truck racers, Nick Sanchez and Matt Crafton, were involved in quite the paddock scuffle this weekend which makes the Esteban Ocon v Max Verstappen shoving contest in Brazil a few years back look even tamer in comparison.

Go grab your popcorn if you haven’t done so already.

Hope for F1 2024?

Unless you are a Max Verstappen or a Red Bull fan, you have to say F1 2023 will not go down as a particularly vintage year when the curtain comes down in Abu Dhabi in November.

We have been starved of a title battle since the 2021 campaign and, on current evidence, it is still hard to see anyone being able to knock Red Bull off their perch for the foreseeable future.

But, Red Bull boss Christian Horner thinks a much tougher fight awaits them next year as this latest set of F1 regulations continues to solidify up and down the grid.

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Daniel Ricciardo continues to reflect on failed McLaren career

It feels like there has been at least 1,000,000 interviews with Daniel Ricciardo on his dreary two-season spell with McLaren, but this Goodwood interview  is particularly illuminating and well worth a read.

It’s not often you would thank an employer for sacking you 12 months earlier than your initial contract expired, but that is exactly what Ricciardo has done here!

You won’t find many saying McLaren made the wrong decision…

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