Sky Sports reporter Craig Slater understands “on pretty good authority” that Fernando Alonso will not be replacing Sergio Perez next season, despite significant rumours following last weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.
The biggest rumour to come out of the Mexican GP was that Perez and Alonso are going to swap seats in 2024, which would see Checo return to the team he left to join Red Bull in 2021.
It was suggested on social media that Alonso had become frustrated with Aston Martin’s recent downward spiral, which has seen them drop to fifth in the Constructors’ Championship.
According to Slater, Alonso’s management team have potentially been looking around at other options for 2024, resulting in the shock rumour.
Perez does have a contract to race for Red Bull next season, which team principal Christian Horner has stressed will be respected.
However, it’s also been reported that if the 33-year-old fails to claim second in the Drivers’ Championship, then he’ll be replaced by Daniel Ricciardo.
Perez is currently battling Lewis Hamilton for P2, with the Mexican’s advantage having been reduced to just 20 points after he retired from his home race at the end of the opening lap.
Ricciardo claiming P7 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez has certainly put even more pressure onto Perez’s shoulders, with the Alonso rumours also likely not helping.
As far as Slater is aware, Perez has no need to worry about the Alonso rumours with Ricciardo seemingly being his only threat.
“Can we get rid of the elephant in the room which is Fernando Alonso potentially going to Red Bull next year to partner Max Verstappen?” Slater said on Sky Sports.
“My understanding is that that is a non-starter, that is not going to happen.
“As much as they admire Alonso at Red Bull and what he can do, he is not above Ricciardo as far as I understand it as an option to drive for that team next year.
“This is not coming officially from the team or anything like that, it’s been out there on the Internet but that is not going to happen as I understand it.
“From what I can gather, some senior, well-placed people have told me that maybe Alonso’s management has been doing their due diligence again and assessing are there any other potentially better options for him next year and perhaps that has been inflated into he’s going to take Perez’s seat rather than Ricciardo.
“But I have it on pretty good authority that that’s not going to happen.”