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Verstappen thumbs up to having Ricciardo as a teammate

Triple Formula One world champion Max Verstappen says he would be happy to have either Sergio Perez or Australian Daniel Ricciardo as a teammate next season in comments that did nothing to dampen speculation about possible change at Red Bull.

Mexican Perez, 33, has a contract for 2024 but his poor form compared to Verstappen's domination - the Dutch driver has won 16 of 19 races in 2023 - has fuelled plenty of talk about his future.

The experienced Ricciardo, 34, was Verstappen's teammate in 2016-18 and his return to the Red Bull fold with AlphaTauri this season leaves him as the favourite to replace Perez.

Verstappen told reporters at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix at Interlagos on Thursday he had a great relationship with both.

"They have been great teammates and it's not up to me at the end of the day to make these kind of decisions because I'm very focused on my own performance," he said.

"So if it's Checo next year, then great. I have had a great working relationship with him but also personally I think he's a great guy.

"And if it's Daniel then also we will get along fine and we have a great time.

"F1 can be a tough sport. You're asking these kinds of questions but maybe also nothing happens right? We will see," added the 26-year-old.

Ricciardo, who secured AlphaTauri's best result of the season when he finished seventh in Mexico last Sunday, told reporters there had been no talks with Red Bull about next season.

"All the stuff around my contract next year has been related to AlphaTauri. I'd say that's honestly as far as that goes," he added.

Perez is fighting for second place overall and is 20 points clear of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton with three races remaining. Red Bull have never ended a season with their drivers one-two in the standings.

"I'm confident in Checo (Perez) that he can stay ahead, because I do think that on average we have the faster car," said Verstappen.

Alonso and Red Bull rumours
Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso has dismissed rumours linking him to red Bull.

Meanwhile, Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso also warned of unspecified "consequences" after the F1 rumour mill went into overdrive with speculation about whether he might be making the move to Red Bull as Verstappen's sidekick.

The 42-year-old Spaniard was linked with the shock move in social media comments after last Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix.

Some suggested he might be losing faith in Aston Martin, a team he joined at the end of last season from Renault-owned Alpine, with Alonso's loyalty also seemingly in question.

"I'm not demotivated at all, I'm still enjoying a lot the project, I love the team, I think we had an incredible season even if now we are not obviously fast enough," he told reporters at Brazil's Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

"There are always going to be some rumours in Formula One, we should not believe maybe the people that are saying those rumours.

"These rumours are coming from people that are just social media guys, they want just some followers. It's a shame and I will make sure there are consequences."

The driver did not offer any further explanation on what those "consequences" might be.