Max Verstappen may get new Red Bull team-mate – ‘There could be an option’

Max Verstappen prevails in world title shoot-out

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Max Verstappen knows he will once again line up alongside Sergio Perez for the 2022 F1 season, but that could well change the following year. Red Bull have chopped and changed Verstappen’s partner ever since the Dutchman made his switch back in 2016.

Daniel Ricciardo was racing in the same car as Verstappen in his first years at Red Bull before the Australian left to join Renault in 2019.

Pierre Gasly was brought in as his replacement but the Frenchman was soon replaced by Alex Albon midway through the season.

The British-born F1 driver kept his seat for the 2020 campaign, but finished a disappointing seventh – 109 points behind Verstappen.

Red Bull left it late in 2020 to announce that Perez would replace Albon, leaving the latter without a team for this year’s campaign.

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The Mexican driver enjoyed a decent debut campaign, winning in Azerbaijan, and finishing fourth in the final standings.

He also played a pivotal role in holding Lewis Hamilton up at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which gave Verstappen the chance to close the gap to his championship rival.

Red Bull’s faith in Perez was evident earlier in the year though as they extended his contract to 2022 midway through the season.

But beyond that it remains uncertain who will be given the seat alongside Verstappen and Gasly has hinted that Red Bull have him under consideration.

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“First of all, obviously, my priority is with Red Bull, but at the moment they’ve decided to continue with Sergio,” he said.

“I don’t know what they’re going to plan. They’re saying that probably 2023 there could be an option.

“I’ll try to put myself in the best position for that, but it’s a discussion that we know we’re going to have next year with Red Bull.”

Gasly impressed with AlphaTauri this past season, picking up a podium in Azerbaijan along with two fourth-placed finishes in Holland and Mexico.

He added: “We’ll have to see what the view of Red Bull over the next two years because now it’s been eight years I’ve been with them. It’s a long time.

“Obviously, at the moment, they have a very competitive car.

“[I] Need to see what they’re going to do with Max and how they’ll move forward, but obviously, I need to think also about my career.

“I mean, I’m still very young. I’m 25, but my goal is to be in the first seat once these guys are going to look at who can be a replacement.

“At the moment I’m ninth in the driver championship.

“All eight guys ahead of me are the drivers who are running for their fourth-best constructor.

“That’s why it’s important for me to show that if there is a free seat, I should be the obvious choice. That’s what I’m trying to do.”

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