Horner won’t rule out Red Bull approach for Sainz

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says Carlos Sainz cannot be ruled out as an option for 2025 if it opts to replace Sergio Perez next year.

Sainz won the Australian Grand Prix just 16 days after having his appendix removed and missing the previous race in Saudi Arabia, while Perez only finished fifth after a grid penalty and then getting visor tear-offs stuck to his floor. The result ended a run of nine straight Max Verstappen victories, and while Yuki Tsunoda again impressed for the junior RB team with seventh place, Horner says Sainz is showing himself to be a strong option on the driver market.

“I think it’s still very early in the year to even be thinking about next year,” Horner said. “Yuki’s a very quick driver we know that but I think we want to feel the best pairing that we can in Red Bull Racing and sometimes you’ve got to look outside the pool as well. You’ve had a very fast unemployed driver win [in Melbourne]. The market is reasonably fluid with certain drivers.


“Based on a performance like that you couldn’t rule any possibility out, so I think you just want to take the time and obviously Checo was compromised [on Sunday]. He’s had a great start to the season too so we’re not in any desperate rush.”

Sainz is in need of a new team after Ferrari opted to sign Lewis Hamilton to partner Charles Leclerc from 2025 onwards, but his latest success matches Leclerc with three victories each since becoming team-mates in 2021.

Sunday’s victory also ensures Sainz is the only driver to stop Red Bull from winning races since the start of the 2023 season, following his victory in Singapore last year that prevented a clean sweep of victories for the team. Horner says the strength from the Spaniard is impressive but he’s expecting Red Bull to bounce back from the disappointment of Verstappen’s retirement at the next round in Japan.

“Carlos is the only driver that’s beaten Red Bull, so he appears to be our nemesis! But Suzuka is a great track. It’s a track that we’ve always performed well at, it’s Honda’s home circuit and the drivers enjoy it and love racing there so we’re looking forward to going back.”

Story originally appeared on Racer