Red Bull Racing Would Be Stupid Not To Snap Up Carlos Sainz Jr
(Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
— 26 March 2024

Red Bull Racing Would Be Stupid Not To Snap Up Carlos Sainz Jr

— 26 March 2024
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

In what world does Carlos Sainz Jr — the only driver to have interrupted Red Bull Racing/Max Verstappen‘s Formula 1 dominance in the last 500 days; most recently just weeks after abdominal surgery — have to stare down the barrel of unemployment?

Apparently this one.

As you will have heard by now, Scuderia Ferrari has already committed to giving Sainz Jr the boot come 2025, thereby making room for seven-time world champion Sir Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton, who is abandoning a lacklustre Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, will enjoy “multiple” seasons on greener/redder pastures — as well as a contract reportedly valued at US$446 million — while the pilot he’s replacing has once again been left in the lurch.

Granted, one can easily see why this decision was made. Transcendental marketability aside, both the British motorsport talent and Sainz Jr’s current teammate Charles Leclerc have been slightly more consistent over the past two seasons. Particularly impressive when you consider the tractor Mercedes has stuck Hamilton with.

But it would be foolish to overlook the capabilities of Carlos Sainz Jr for the coming season. Especially if you’re Red Bull Racing.

The defending champions, which seemed pretty damn keen on reuniting Max Verstappen with their other prodigal son Daniel Ricciardo until recently, have been weighing up their options to fill that second seat. Ideally with a driver who can more closely follow the charging bull’s golden boy on the track; and not a driver struggling against his far less experienced teammate at the Visa Cash App RB junior team (formerly AlphaTauri).

The person who’s proven to be the most viable candidate aside from Sergio Perez (and in inferior machinery, no less) has been none other than Verstappen’s former Toro Rosso teammate — Carlos Sainz Jr.

Bar a handful of woefully unfortunate weekends to forget, since the 2023 Italian Grand Prix wherein the latter finished P3 behind both Red Bull Racing drivers, he’s hit a rich vein of form: recording better results than Perez during five of the last 12 race weekends, and only a single podium place behind Mexico’s Minister of Defence on two separate occasions.

(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

And I know what you’re thinking. That still means Checo has technically beaten Sainz Jr seven times to his five; plus the whole nutshell of mechanical failures. But let’s not downplay the gulf between the goddamn rocket ship Adrian Newey has crafted for Red Bull and the rigs every other team is making do with.

Take the recent Australian Grand Prix, for example: despite the fact that Max Verstappen’s right brake was engaged the entire time, he was still leading the race for three whole laps before his RB20 finally conked out in the pit lane.

Thankfully, it would appear that certain key figures on the grid are starting to recognise the value of Carlos Sainz Jr — like Red Bull Racing CEO & Team Principal Christian Horner.

“[Yuki Tsunoda’s] a very quick driver, we know that, but I think we want to feel the best pairing that we can in Red Bull Racing, and sometimes you’ve got to look outside the pool as well,” said Horner after the aforementioned Australian Grand Prix.

“You’ve had a very fast unemployed driver win today. The market is reasonably fluid with certain drivers.”

“Based on a performance like that you couldn’t rule any possibility out.”

(Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Red Bull Racing’s head honcho added as a caveat: “I think you just want to take the time and obviously Checo [Perez] was compromised today. He’s had a great start in the season too so we’re not in any desperate rush.”

The ongoing conversation surrounding that second seat has also involved two-time champion and Aston Martin-signed grid veteran, Fernando Alonso, as well as ex-Red Bull Racing driver Alex Albon, meaning Carlos Sainz Jr is far from a shoo-in. In our minds, however, the Smooth Operator is quite deservingly the future.

Time to give him another shot.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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