New legendary teammate for Verstappen? Red Bull responds

The Formula One world is abuzz with speculation over the future of Sergio Perez at Red Bull Racing. With the Mexican’s performances under scrutiny, the team are considering potential replacements. One intriguing name that has emerged is Sebastian Vettel, the four-time world champion who has retired from Formula One but recently expressed his boredom with retirement.

However, Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has made it clear that pairing Vettel with Max Verstappen is not in the team’s plans but doesn’t rule out the Germans’ return to the sport.

Marko says: “I think Sebastian feels somehow without a specific task at the moment, doesn’t know exactly what he should do. He has to make a decision somewhere.”



Perez’s uncertain future

Sergio Perez’s tenure at Red Bull Racing has been a rollercoaster ride, marked by an intense rivalry with teammate Max Verstappen which has resulted in bad blood between the Red Bull drivers. This season, Perez has faced challenges that have led to questions about his future with the team and Red Bull have not been entirely happy with his performance. As a result, his days with the team appear to be numbered.




Vettel speculation

Amidst Perez’s uncertain future, the prospect of for Red Bull F1 champion Sebastian Vettel making an shock return to F1 has captured the imagination of fans and pundits alike. Vettel, who has openly admitted to feeling bored during his retirement, could potentially be lured back into the sport. Some observers have even suggested he could replace Perez and team up with Verstappen at Red Bull.


Hulkenberg admits defeat


Marko’s stance: No partnership with Vettel

Helmut Marko, a key figure at Red Bull Racing, has weighed in on the possibility of Sebastian Vettel teaming up with Max Verstappen. He expressed his reluctance, saying: “Well, next to Verstappen, I honestly don’t want to do that to him…”

Marko cited Red Bull’s contractual obligations until 2024 as an obstacle to such a partnership. He emphasised that modern motorsport is about more than just combustion engines and petrol, hinting at Vettel’s ambitions beyond the track.


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Vettel’s hypothetical return

While Marko seems reluctant to entertain the idea of Vettel returning to Red Bull, he did admit that if Vettel were to make a comeback, it would likely be with a top-flight team challenging for victory. Marko mentioned Daniel Ricciardo, who currently drives for AlphaTauri within the Red Bull family, as an existing option.

 “We already have an experienced driver in Daniel Ricciardo. And when Sebastian comes back, I think he just wants to be in a top team and drive for victories again,” claims Marko.



Deal extension for Ricciardo


Perez contract no guarantee

Marko made it clear that Sergio Perez’s existing contract with Red Bull does not guarantee him a seat for the coming seasons. Red Bull, known for its driver development programme, retains the flexibility to decide on driver line-ups as it sees fit.

This revelation comes in the wake of a stark warning from Red Bull’s influential figurehead, Dr Helmut Marko. Never one to mince words, Marko made it clear that Perez’s recent slump in form leaves no room for complacency. The assurance of a “job guarantee” for the coming season seemed far from certain.


READ MORE: Verstappen “feared more” than Hamilton says Button



“Every year you learn things and that’s why I like this sport so much,” Perez told the Spanish-language DAZN broadcaster at Monza.

“You’re learning things all the time, but most important of all is learning from your mistakes.

“With the season we’ve had, the next few races are about creating a situation where I feel I can contribute. And if that place for 2024 is not here, we will have to look around for other alternatives,” he admitted.

“But right now, my main focus is to be here, to win more races, to continue winning championships with Red Bull. I have a contract until next year and sometime next year we will sit down and talk,” he added.



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Perez’s ups and downs

That said, Marko was positive about the Mexican’s future and when commenting on Perez’s recent performances, Marko acknowledged that the Mexican driver has faced challenges in qualifying. He highlighted the occasional dips in form, but also praised Perez’s strong race performances, pointing to his recent victory in Singapore. Marko was optimistic that Perez would return to peak form and make a significant contribution to Red Bull Racing.



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Bottom line

As the debate continues over Sergio Perez’s future at Red Bull Racing and the possible return of Sebastian Vettel, Formula One fans are eagerly awaiting developments. While Marko’s stance seems to be leaning away from a Verstappen-Vettel partnership, the unpredictable world of Formula One often throws up surprises. Moreover, any plans by Red Bull to place Daniel Ricciardo with Max Verstappen next year are now likely on hold due to the wrist injury suffered during the Dutch Grand Prix, making the possibility of a surprise signing ever more possible.

Only time will tell what decisions Red Bull Racing will make to strengthen their line-up and continue their quest for championship glory.

READ MORE: Red Bull hint at “new driver” next year



One response to “New legendary teammate for Verstappen? Red Bull responds

  1. Seb would only return in a non-driving role because he’s definitely done with active racing with a clear motive like Nico Rosberg when he stopped & any possible change involving Ricciardo or someone else would happen for 2025 at the earliest.
    Checo would face a contract termination only in extreme circumstances.

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