Max Verstappen sent offer to quit Red Bull and join F1 rival keen to be his team-mate
Sky Sports F1 expert Craig Slater has given the inside track on the rumour that Fernando Alonso could replace Sergio Perez at Red Bull. The Mexican driver’s future remains up in the air even though he has a contract until the end of next season, with Alonso the latest name tipped to be paired with Max Verstappen.
Reports have even claimed that Alonso and Perez could swap teams for next season, which would see the latter end up at Aston Martin. The likes of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo have also been mentioned with the possibility of joining Verstappen and Slater believes that it is extremely unlikely that Alonso would move to Red Bull.
He told the Sky Sports F1 podcast: “Can we get rid of the elephant in the room which is Fernando Alonso potentially going to Red Bull?! My understanding is that is a non-starter, it is not going to happen.
“As much as they admire Alonso and what he can do, he is not above Ricciardo, as far as I understand it, as an option to drive for that team next year.
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“This is not coming officially from the team but it is not going to happen. Some senior and well-placed people have told me that maybe Alonso’s management have been doing their due diligence again and assessing whether there are any better options for him next year. Perhaps that has been inflated into a ‘he is going to take Perez’s seat rather than Ricciardo’.”
Red Bull have consistently played down the idea that Perez could leave after the final few races of the season, despite him struggling to compete with Verstappen at the top of the grid. His qualifying performances have been particularly disappointing but Slater has insisted Alonso won’t be the driver to come in.
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The reporter has questioned whether Alonso may consider retirement, with the 42-year-old disappointed about the state of affairs at Aston Martin. They started off the season as the surprise package and were competing at the top of the grid, but have since picked up just one podium in the last 11 races.
“Is he so pessimistic about Aston next year that he might not carry on?” Slater added. “The appetite for Aston Martin to carry on with Alonso is still pretty strong and I think it is most likely that he carries on with Aston Martin.”
Alonso conceded that the season was effectively over for the team in Mexico, stating: “Honestly, we are not fighting for anything.” But if he is hoping to compete next year with Red Bull, Slater has some bad news for the veteran driver.
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