Is Carlos Sainz joining Red Bull in 2025?

The Spaniard clinched his third Formula 1 win on Sunday in a race filled with excitement in Melbourne

By Web Desk
March 25, 2024
The 29-year-old is due to become a free agent at the end of the season. -  Reuters

Christian Horner has suggested that Red Bull could consider re-signing Carlos Sainz following the Ferrari driver’s impressive victory at the Australian Grand Prix.

Sainz clinched his third Formula 1 win on Sunday in a race filled with excitement in Melbourne.

Taking advantage of Max Verstappen’s brake failure, which forced him to retire after just three laps, the Spaniard led almost the entire race with a poised and controlled drive – a feat made even more remarkable considering he had undergone appendicitis just weeks before.

The victory was particularly significant for the 29-year-old, who is due to become a free agent at the end of the season following Ferrari's signing of Sir Lewis Hamilton to partner Charles Leclerc for 2025 and beyond.

While there is an available seat at Mercedes to replace Hamilton, there is now a possibility that Sainz could make a sensational return to Red Bull, where he began his F1 career.

The championship leaders could have two seats free with Sergio Perez out of contract at the end of 2024 and an underwhelming fifth-place in Australia won’t have helped his chances of an extension.

Red Bull team principal Horner said after the race: ‘Based on a performance like that, you couldn’t rule any possibility out.

"You’ve had a very fast unemployed driver win today. Carlos is the only driver who has beaten Red Bull [since the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix] so he appears to be our nemesis.

"We just want to take our time. Checo [Perez] was compromised [in Sunday’s race] but has had a great start to the season. We are not in any desperate rush," he added.

Red Bull typically hire from within, with RB’s Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda as well as Liam Lawson first in line, but Horner would not rule out looking at other options.

"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," Red Bull team principal Horner said.

Sainz came through the Red Bull junior programme and made his F1 debut with their sister team Toro Rosso in 2015 alongside Verstappen.

After seeing the Dutchman get promoted ahead of him and tired of waiting for his chance, he left the team part-way through 2017 to join Renault before moving onto McLaren and then Ferrari in 2021.

To date he has recorded three wins, five poles and 20 podiums, and after his latest victory in Melbourne, he jested: "I’m still jobless for next year, so I guess this is good for me!

"But jokes aside, I know that when I’m given a good car I can get it done. I proved it in Singapore, I proved it here. When it’s a good car, I’m happy and I’m very happy with the car today," he added.