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Horner Eyes Alonso for Red Bull's 2025 Lineup

Horner Eyes Alonso for Red Bull’s 2025 Lineup

25/03/2024

Red Bull’s Christian Horner is keen on signing Fernando Alonso, signaling a significant shift within the team’s dynamics and future prospects.

Following the Australian Grand Prix and the ensuing power struggle, which, for the time being, has seen Christian Horner emerge victorious in the internal conflict at Red Bull, there are new developments.

According to F1-Insider, plans are in motion for two-time world champion Fernando Alonso (42) to join forces with superstar Max Verstappen (26) next year, replacing Mexican driver Sergio Perez.

The Spaniard is the preferred candidate of the current “sole ruler” Christian Horner, who enjoys unwavering support from the Thai majority shareholders.

The Austrian faction, led by Dietrich Mateschitz’s heir Mark Mateschitz and head of motorsport Helmut Marko, who sought to dismiss Horner due to what they perceive as justified suspicion of power abuse, can only watch from the sidelines.

Horner Eyes Alonso for Red Bull's 2025 Lineup

Their philosophy of filling Red Bull’s driver slots from the junior team pool—especially when talents like Yuki Tsunoda await promotion—no longer holds sway.

Verstappen’s camp is already bracing for the teammate it will have in 2025 and is now contemplating its own future. Talks with Alonso, whose contract with Aston Martin expires at the end of this year, are reportedly advanced.

The Spaniard, world champion in 2005 and 2006, remains one of the finest drivers in the Formula 1 field despite his relatively advanced age for the sport. Joining Red Bull, he believes he can clinch his third title next year, particularly with the backing of Red Bull’s power players around Horner.

Horner Eyes Alonso for Red Bull's 2025 Lineup

Verstappen now faces a dilemma: Does he want to risk competing against a driver in the same team who could be seen by Horner as a means to an end? That is, to prove that he, as team principal, is responsible for the team’s recent successes (Verstappen won the last three World Championships) and not the Dutch prodigy promoted by Helmut Marko.

Alonso’s Previous Red Bull Ambition

Verstappen’s withdrawal from the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday fueled his mistrust towards the unpopular team principal.

As F1-Insider learned, a loosely tightened screw leading to a brake defect in Verstappen’s car, bearing the number one, could have been to blame. Although likely a coincidence, the mistake occurred at the worst possible time due to the emotionally charged atmosphere within the team.

Horner Eyes Alonso for Red Bull's 2025 Lineup

It’s also true that this isn’t the first time Horner has sought to bring Alonso on board. F1-Insider recalls that back in 2013, Horner was keen on making the Spaniard, then disillusioned with Ferrari and looking to leave, Vettel’s teammate in 2014, replacing Australian Mark Webber.

At the time, Marko and Dietrich Mateschitz intervened decisively, rebuffing Horner. Marko told F1-Insider reporters in 2013, “Alonso doesn’t fit our philosophy. We will fill Red Bull Racing with our junior drivers.” And so it happened, with Daniel Ricciardo becoming Vettel’s new teammate.

That’s now in the past. The power dynamics at Red Bull have shifted.

Horner has never been keen on promoting drivers from the junior team. In 2014, he was not only against Ricciardo but also hesitant to promote Red Bull’s junior drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen, to the parent team so soon.

He then acknowledged Vettel’s and Verstappen’s significant achievements with a bittersweet smile.

However, Verstappen has not forgotten who was against him back then. A switch to Mercedes in 2025 is becoming increasingly likely. The currently struggling automaker in Formula 1 would welcome the victorious Dutchman with open arms as a savior.

Horner Eyes Alonso for Red Bull’s 2025 Lineup. Horner Eyes Alonso for Red Bull’s 2025 Lineup

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