Liberty push for Red Bull ‘dream team’ as candidates emerge to partner Max Verstappen

Henry Valantine
Red Bull driver and reigning F1 World Champion Max Verstappen looks on from the garage during qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix. Styria, June 2023.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen looks on from the garage during qualifying for the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix.

A report from Italy has claimed that Formula 1 owners Liberty Media are pushing for a ‘dream team’ at Red Bull from 2025 or 2026 onwards.

With that, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc are believed to be the front-running candidates to potentially drive alongside the reigning World Champion, in the hope of creating a team of two ‘number one’ drivers to spice up the action at the front of the field.

The report claims that preliminary talks between Leclerc and Red Bull already took place at the end of May, with the Ferrari driver’s current contract set to expire at the end of 2024.

A Red Bull ‘dream team’ on the cards?

The report from Formu1a.uno in Italy claims that Norris and Leclerc are seen as front-runners to take a seat alongside Verstappen in the medium-term, with Sergio Perez currently in place but given Daniel Ricciardo’s recent placing at AlphaTauri, they claim “it is not so unthinkable that a replacement alongside Max Verstappen might not take place in 2024, with the Australian returning to Red Bull.”

But whatever happens, the report claims there is a longer term vision in place for a ‘dream team’ line-up at Red Bull, with Formula 1 owners Liberty Media said to be particularly keen to ensure the fastest teams on the grid place top drivers alongside each other to generate drama.

The Italian report states: ‘There is in fact a strong desire on the part of Liberty Media to try to convince the top teams to have two truly competitive drivers in the team, in order to liven up the spectacle even if only one team dominates.

‘The American giant has realised that it is very complicated to repeat seasons like 2021, even by frequently resetting the technical regulations and with the impossibility of extending their life too much.

‘The manager of the top motorsport series therefore wants to try to improve the show by working on a more sporting side.’

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With that, the report adds that both Red Bull and Aston Martin are said to have held exploratory talks with Leclerc over a potential move, with Ferrari also looking to secure his future beyond the end of 2024, with Norris also held in very high regard by Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko.

The McLaren driver is locked into his deal until the end of 2025 however, with the team claiming there are no get-out clauses within that on either side.

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