Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes that it would be unlikely for the Milton Keynes team to make an approach for Fernando Alonso.
With the shock news that their driver Daniel Ricciardo will be making a switch to Renault for 2019, Red Bull are now in search of a driver to partner Max Verstappen next season.
With Red Bull traditionally bringing young drivers through their own development programme, the main candidates for the second seat are Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso) and Carlos Sainz (on loan at Renault).
However, with McLaren’s Fernando Alonso also yet to finalise his plans for 2019, he has been suggested as Red Bull target, having been linked with the team in the past.
However, speaking on the official F1 podcast, Horner ruled out a move for the two-time champion, suggesting that he would be too disruptive to the team, and that his preference would be to promote a driver from within the Red Bull stable.
“I have got huge respect for Fernando. He’s a great driver, a fantastic driver,” Horner said.
“But I think it’s very difficult to see… he tends to cause a bit of chaos wherever he’s gone. I’m not sure it would be the healthiest thing for the team for Fernando to join the team.
“Our preference would be to continue to invest in youth than take a driver who’s obviously close to the end of his career. We are fortunate that we’ve got several drivers under contract that are great talents. So I think we are going to sit back and just look and evaluate what the situation is.”
“It’s an incredibly attractive car to be driving and I don’t think we are going to be short of requests and offers.”
With Red Bull clearly having the most coveted seat in the driver market, Horner refused to rush into a decision about promoting either Gasly or Sainz.
“I wouldn’t read too much into it at the moment. Both of those guys are very quick drivers. This just gives us a chance to take a breath.
“They are under contract anyway until the end of the summer or beyond, we’ll just look at the options available to us and make the right direction for the team.”