It has been another busy day in the world of Formula 1, with the first Las Vegas Grand Prix now fast approaching.
As speculation persists over Sergio Perez’s Red Bull future, a seasoned ‘wingman’ has been suggested as “the guy” to replace him, rather than Daniel Ricciardo, branded “selfish” by a former Renault F1 boss.
All this and more, so let us dive into the action…
Valtteri Bottas ideal Sergio Perez Red Bull replacement
Formula 1 pundit Peter Windsor is starting to soften in his insistence that Perez is exactly what Red Bull want in a second driver, and so in his latest YouTube livestream, began entertaining the possible options out there to replace the Mexican racer.
And the top candidate who he settled on was Bottas, who spent five seasons as Mercedes team-mate to seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton.
“He’s not by no means in the same class as Max or Lewis or Charles [Leclerc], but he’s not bad. Better than Perez, I think,” said Windsor. “If you’re going to look at anybody, Bottas would be the guy.”
Cyril Abiteboul criticises “selfish” Daniel Ricciardo timing
The driver seemingly in pole position to take Perez’s spot, should Red Bull change their mind and decide a switch is needed, is Ricciardo, currently driving for their junior team AlphaTauri.
Ricciardo left the Red Bull fold at the end of 2018, but following spells with Renault and McLaren, the latter disastrous, he has returned to his Red Bull family.
Ricciardo decided before the 2020 campaign had even begun that he would leave Renault for McLaren, and after seeing his McLaren contract terminated a year early due to poor performance, he is now witnessing McLaren thrive as a regular visitor to the F1 2023 podium.
There is not much sympathy coming from his former boss at Renault Abiteboul.
“I think it’s a very early move, a bit selfish – because in the end, it will have given the team just one season’s chance, and so it’s true that it’s a decision that I’m taking badly. Badly,” said Abiteboul of Ricciardo’s exit on the Dans La Boîte À Gants podcast.
Five drivers named who could give Max Verstappen “tougher” time
Earlier this year, Lando Norris could have been forgiven for regretting making a long-term commitment to McLaren and praying that the call came from Red Bull, but now, McLaren are shaping up to be the team in with the best shot of catching Formula 1’s dominant outfit.
That has not stopped speculation linking Norris with a future Red Bull move, the Brit believing he is one of five drivers who could push Verstappen harder than Perez does.
“Who else could it be? It would be nice if it was Lewis [Hamilton], it would be amazing to see him,” Norris told DAZN after naming himself among the drivers who could challenge Verstappen from the other side of the Red Bull garage.
“Or Fernando [Alonso], or Carlos [Sainz], or Charles [Leclerc], or [George] Russell? They’re all great drivers who you know would make it tougher for him.”
Lando Norris picked as “World Championship material”
Norris equalled an unwanted record in Brazil with his 13th podium finish, the Brit now tied with Nick Heidfeld on that number for most podiums without a victory.
Nonetheless, Norris is proving in that McLaren MCL60 exactly why he is so highly-related, with 2015 Le Mans class winner Richard Bradley seeing title-winning quality in his compatriot.
“I think he’s severely underrated and we’ve definitely got World Championship material there,” said Bradley of Norris on the On Track GP podcast, produced in collaboration between PlanetF1.com and DR Sports.
GM to arm Andretti-Cadillac with works F1 power unit
The quest for Andretti-Cadillac to break down the barriers and make it onto the Formula 1 grid has taken a fresh twist, with General Motors confirming their intention to become an F1 power unit supplier from 2028.
“We are thrilled that our new Andretti Cadillac F1 entry will be powered by a GM power unit,” said General Motors president Mark Reuss.
The F1 resistance to this prospective new player just took a big hit!
Max Verstappen at the wheel for Ferrari
Verstappen has himself left the door open to perhaps one day racing for Ferrari, but while some fans would have dared to dream after hearing the news that Verstappen had been driving a Ferrari GT car at Mugello, alas, it was not for Formula 1 purposes.
Instead, it was for the racing education of his manager’s son, Thierry Vermeulen.