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Helmut Marko

Marko confirms favourite for second Red Bull seat

Dr Helmut Marko has said who is the leading contender to partner Max Verstappen at Red Bull in 2025.

Marko Saudi
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has provided an update on two options for the second seat at the Milton Keynes team, including the favourite.

Lead driver Max Verstappen is tied into a long-term deal with the constructors' champions, but who will occupy Sergio Perez's seat for the 2025 season has yet to be determined.

The Mexican has been thought to be in the prime position to be retained, since starting the year in strong form, but outgoing Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz remains an option for the team.

Despite those links, Marko insists Red Bull's current driver is the primary focus, with contract discussions already underway.

"The talks are ongoing and Checo [Sergio Perez] is still our first option," the 81-year-old told Kleine Zeitung.

"We want to clarify that before the summer break, even though we put absolutely no pressure on ourselves otherwise."

Tsunoda also in talks

Heading into the season, there was speculation surrounding whether Daniel Ricciardo would be able to snatch the second Red Bull seat from Perez.

However, amid a somewhat underwhelming start to the year at RB, his team-mate Yuki Tsunoda is emerging as a more likely alternative to Red Bull's incumbent and Sainz.

The Japanese driver sits within the top 10 of the drivers' standings, ahead of the rest of the midfield and Aston Martin's Lance Stroll.

Future still, his 15 points are more than the rest of the drivers from the bottom five teams combined - something that is adding to suggestions he should be more seriously considered by Red Bull.

"Of course he is also taking part in talks," Marko confirmed of Tsunoda, moving to dispel the notion that he is not an option for the constructors' champions. "Generally we have several options in his contract, so he can commit for several years."

Also interesting:

In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding look back at this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen and Lando Norris went head-to-head for the victory around the famous Imola Circuit as McLaren continue to pile the pressure on Red Bull!

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here.

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