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Christian Horner suggests potential Red Bull reunion with rival Carlos Sainz.
F1 Sport

Christian Horner suggests potential Red Bull reunion with rival Carlos Sainz.

Christian Horner has offered the possibility of a surprising reunion between Red Bull and Australian Grand Prix champion Carlos Sainz, following the Spaniard’s impressive comeback from surgery during the third Formula One race of the season. This win also put an end to Max Verstappen’s nine-race winning streak.

Unfortunately, Sainz will depart from Ferrari at the conclusion of this season because of the addition of Lewis Hamilton. In Melbourne, he demonstrated his high value as a driver for the 2025 season by securing first place at Albert Park after Verstappen’s race-ending brake malfunction. Horner acknowledged that Sainz has been a formidable opponent for Red Bull in recent times.

When questioned about the possibility of Red Bull rehiring Sainz, Horner stated, “Given a performance like that, we cannot discount any potential options.”

Sainz was the sole non-Red Bull driver to claim a Grand Prix victory during the previous year, achieving this feat in September at the Singapore race. He also secured another win for the constructor champions on Sunday. Horner commented, “Today, we witnessed a rapid and jobless driver take the win.”

The Spaniard was part of the junior Red Bull program and raced for Toro Rosso until he joined Renault in 2017. Ferrari signed Sainz in 2021 to replace Sebastian Vettel. Red Bull’s director Helmut Marko said last month the team would make a decision later in the season about their Mexican driver Sergio Pérez – who finished fifth on Sunday – and that timeframe would not align with that of the in-demand Sainz. But no leading candidate has emerged to pair with Verstappen next year.

Horner stated that Pérez has had an excellent start to the season, and also praised Yuki Tsunoda, the primary driver at the affiliated team RB, for being a very swift driver. However, the Red Bull team leader also acknowledged the importance of looking beyond their current pool of drivers, as the market for talent is constantly changing.

Next year, Ferrari has chosen to match Hamilton with Charles Leclerc, leaving Sainz in search of a new team. Sainz stated, “I do not feel undervalued by individuals who are knowledgeable about the sport. As for those who may not have as much understanding, if they choose to underestimate me, I am content with that.”

Leclerc, who came in second place after Sainz, dismissed the claim that Sainz was underestimated, stating that he is considered one of the top-rated drivers in Formula One. Leclerc also expressed confidence in Sainz’s future and believes that many team leaders are in talks with him.

Sainz was absent from the previous race in Saudi Arabia because he underwent surgery to have his appendix removed two weeks prior. He attributed his speedy recovery to a rigorous healing regimen, which involved using a hyperbaric chamber and an “electromagnetic” device. As the race approached, he noticed a significant improvement in his condition and credits this to the treatment he received in the days prior. He stated that his overall feeling was improved when he arrived in Australia and that he made more progress in the 24-hour periods following the first week of his recovery.

Oscar Piastri, a driver from Australia, took fourth place in the race, with his teammate Lando Norris ahead of him. He followed instructions from McLaren team to let Norris overtake him during the middle of the race.

Piastri expressed his disappointment with breaking a 40-year streak of having a local driver on the podium, but he acknowledged the reasoning behind the team’s interference. “While it would have been great to maintain my third place finish at my home race, I understand that the decision was justified,” Piastri stated.

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Daniel Ricciardo, a fellow countryman, placed 12th in the race even though he started at 18th position. This adds to his difficulties at RB team. Ricciardo acknowledged, “I am aware that I am on a journey and I need to concentrate on myself. Any outside influences will divert me from my current path.”

Australian Oscar Piastri had a podium finish within reach in his home Grand Prix until being ordered by McLaren to move aside for teammate Lando Norris.View image in fullscreen

Verstappen’s lap three incident was Red Bull’s first mechanical withdrawal in two years, and was attributed to an issue with the rear right brake caliper.

In the past few weeks, Horner has been involved in a dispute with a member of his team. Although he was investigated and found innocent, the employee has requested an appeal. Horner stated on Sunday that he feels completely at ease in his position at Red Bull.

Source: theguardian.com