In Brief

F1: Sergio Perez on McLaren shortlist and Sebastian Vettel eyes Monza win

Force India’s Perez could partner Carlos Sainz at McLaren next year

Perez on McLaren shortlist

Sergio Perez is in talks with McLaren about a potential return to the team for the 2019 Formula 1 season.

Perez, who is Mexican and currently races for Force India, is one of four drivers who could partner Carlos Sainz at McLaren next year, Sky Sports reports.

Perez, who was with McLaren for one season in 2013, is joined on the shortlist by Force India team-mate Esteban Ocon, teenager Lando Norris and current McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne.

With Fernando Alonso retiring at the end of the campaign, McLaren announced on 16 August that Sainz will race for the team next year. Vandoorne currently holds the team’s other seat, but his future has yet to be confirmed.

Vettel targets Monza win

Ferrari ace Sebastian Vettel has his sights set on victory and making history at this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Vettel is currently 17 points behind Lewis Hamilton in the F1 title race but will look to close the gap at Ferrari’s “home” race on Sunday. Should Vettel win at Monza he would equal Stirling Moss’s achievement of winning the Italian GP with three different teams.  

After winning in Belgium last weekend, Reuters reports that Vettel is in confident mood ahead of Monza. The German said: “We have a good car that seems to work everywhere. Hopefully we can now carry that momentum and speed into the next race to Monza.”

Red Bull not yet ready for title challenge

Max Verstappen says it will take time before Red Bull are ready to rival Mercedes and Ferrari for the F1 title.

Speaking to the Daily Express, the 20-year-old said: “Everyone wants that [to be at the front], but in Formula 1 that’s a tricky thing. At first we will need to take some more steps, but hopefully at the end we will be close.

“The year after, we should be out in full force. I think [it will be a development year], but in a positive way. We will in any case know what we will be getting and which steps are being taken.”

Alonso rejected Renault return

Before he announced his F1 retirement, Fernando Alonso turned down an offer to return to Renault – the team where he won the title in 2005 and 2006.

The McLaren driver told Sky Sports F1: “I had the possibility of joining Renault and going back to my two championship team [and] having my last years with my second family there.

“But it was difficult to get the challenge there, fighting for the top six or top ten, compared to the challenges I can get outside of F1.”

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