Mark Blundell: Former McLaren Driver Suggests Ideal Teammate to Challenge Red Bull’s Max Verstappen

Mark Blundell: Former McLaren Driver Suggests Ideal Teammate to Challenge Red Bull’s Max Verstappen

Ero Samson
updated at May 10, 2024 at 4:42 PM
  • Max Verstappen’s teammate at Red Bull for the 2025 F1 season is yet to be confirmed
  • Several drivers have been linked with the potential of teaming up with the world champion
  • A former McLaren driver has shared his thoughts on who he would like to partner Verstappen

The quest to find the perfect teammate for Max Verstappen continues as Red Bull Racing's head of driver development programme, Helmut Marko, clarified that the team are yet to make any decisions regarding the second seat of the Red Bull for the 2025 season.

As many as five drivers, including current Verstappen teammate, Sergio Perez, Visa Cash App RB's (VCARB) Daniel Ricciardo, and the soon-to-be-out-of-contract, Carlos Sainz, are being considered to partner with the Dutch driver for the upcoming season.

Max Verstappen, Formula 1, F1, teammate, 2025, Red Bull, Sergio Perez
Red Bull Racing are on the lookout for an ideal teammate to partner Max Verstappen for the 2025 Formula 1 season. Image: Paolo Pedicelli.
Source: Getty Images

However, amid the buzz the future of the second Red Bull seat continues to generate, former McLaren driver, Mark Blundell, has aired his thoughts on who he thinks should be the fitting teammate for Verstappen at Red Bull.

Blundell speaks on Verstappen’s ideal teammate

In an interview captured by Sports Brief, the retired Formula 1 driver emphasised his desire to see a driver with exceptional one-lap speed in the second Red Bull car.

"I believe it could benefit from someone who is exceptionally fast over one lap, to apply pressure to the system. Not to say that Perez isn't, but historically, Perez has excelled in endurance and time management, extracting the most from the package in those aspects."

Further elaborating on his preference and specifically naming a driver to partner with the three-time world champion, the 58-year-old continued:

"I'd like to see someone who's a specialist in one-lap pace to challenge the system. Who could that be currently? I'm intrigued by Oscar Piastri, the Aussie. I believe he has genuine potential and could make an impact. There are a few other drivers out there who also deserve an opportunity. I rate Carlos Sainz. I really do. He has matured well, and with stability within the team, he could elevate to the next level."

However, the former 24 Hours of Le Mans winner concluded by highlighting the challenge of finding a driver who could effectively challenge Verstappen.

"To be honest, I don't see anyone who could significantly challenge Max at the moment. We might have to wait for Max to have an off day for someone else to have a chance."

Verstappen has largely outperformed several of his teammates since switching from Toro Rosso to Red Bull during the 2016 Formula 1 season. The 26-year-old was last defeated in a Grand Prix by his current teammate, Perez, at the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Teams to look out for in Emilia Romagna

Sports Brief in another report highlighted a list of teams to look out for at the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Formula 1 heads to Imola for the first time since 2022 following the flooding incident that saw the 2023 edition of the showpiece suspended.

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Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).