In Brief

F1: McLaren may sign Carlos Sainz Jr after missing out on Daniel Ricciardo

Who will become Max Verstappen’s teammate at Red Bull in 2019?

McLaren to go for Sainz Jr?

McLaren team boss Zak Brown has admitted that Carlos Sainz Jr would be high up on their list of potential drivers for the 2019 season.

According to Autosport McLaren are yet to confirm their driver line-up for next year with question marks over Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne. 

Spaniard Sainz, who is on loan this year at Renault from Red Bull, could be an option. His seat at Renault will go to Daniel Ricciardo in 2019 and his future at Red Bull is yet to be finalised.

Brown says that Sainz is an “excellent driver”. Speaking before the Ricciardo deal was confirmed, Brown said: “Of course Carlos is potentially on the market. We don’t know his exact situation [at Red Bull], but he’s certainly someone that as you go down the shortlist of drivers you’d consider putting in a race car.

“If he was free, and if we had a seat, he would certainly be high up on the consideration set.”

McLaren were close to getting Ricciardo

Ricciardo revealed last week that he was leaving Red Bull for Renault next season, but McLaren boss Brown believes his team were close to signing the Australian ace.

Brown told Racer.com: “We had a couple of meetings and we are big fans of Daniel. I think he’s a great guy, I think he’s a great race car driver. 

“How close we came to getting him, I think only Daniel knows the answer to that question. Had we been running more competitively I think that would have increased our odds.”

Gasly to race for Red Bull next year?

Pierre Gasly is the bookies’ favourite to replace Ricciardo at Red Bull and become Max Verstappen’s teammate for 2019.

The French driver, 22, currently races for Red Bull’s junior team Toro Rosso and is tipped to make the step up. Sky Bet’s latest betting prices has Gasly at 4/9, Sainz at 4/1 and Alonso at 9/2.

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