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Helmut Marko

Marko confirms Red Bull 'talking to Sainz'

Red Bull currently has one seat up for grabs at the team for 2025 and one potential option for the energy drink-backed squad is Carlos Sainz.

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has confirmed his squad is speaking to Carlos Sainz over a 2025 Formula 1 drive.

Sainz is currently seeking a seat for next year's campaign after being dropped at Ferrari in favour of seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Red Bull has a vacancy at the squad for next season with Sergio Perez's contract expiring at the end of 2024.

However, Perez has boosted his own prospects of retaining a drive for next year following a strong start to the campaign, scoring three second place finishes in the opening four rounds.

"It is clear that Checo is currently driving his best season for us,” Marko told Kleine Zeitung.

“If he continues this performance, like the strong qualifying in Japan for example, then he is definitely the best option for Red Bull in 2025.

“He works for the team and has now also realised that his radical approach last year was wrong. His set-up is now closer to Max's and that helps him.”

Sainz in contention

Outside of Perez, Red Bull has options, declaring that a return to the Red Bull umbrella for Sainz is possible.

“We are talking to Carlos," Marko asserted. "He is having his best season in Formula 1.”

But Marko conceded that Red Bull is unlikely able to match an offer that's on the table for Sainz from Audi, who will join the grid in 2026.

“However, Carlos also has a very lucrative offer from Audi and we cannot match or exceed that.

“Of course we know him from the Toro Rosso era, when he was already driving with Max. It really hurt him then that we were supporting Verstappen at Red Bull and not him."

Marko was also asked about the prospect of promoting Yuki Tsunoda, who is currently in his fourth season of F1, from its sister RB team.

“Yuki had a great start to the season. Only four races have been run, so you can't say much about it yet.

“But he's got Daniel Ricciardo under control, even if it was close in Japan.”

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