No. 3 - Red Bull
Carlos Sainz Jr. began his Formula 1 career as a part of the Red Bull organization and competed for sister team Toro Rosso from the 2015 season until late in the 2017 season, when he left for Renault. But even during the end of the 2017 season and the 2018 season, he remained tied to Red Bull. That contract did not end until he joined McLaren in 2019.
Now he could end up getting the opportunity to return to the team with which he had once hoped to compete when he set out on his Formula 1 journey.
Sergio Perez does not have a contract to return to Red Bull for the 2025 season, and the assumption has long been that the Milton Keynes-based team would be attempting to seek out a suitable replacement, given how much he struggled against teammate Max Verstappen in 2023 in equal machinery.
After the Red Bull drivers each won two of the first four races, Verstappen won 17 of the final 18. Perez went winless and only secured three runner-up finishes during that stretch, and the gap from him to Verstappen in the final standings ended up being larger than Perez's entire point total, despite the fact that he still managed to place second. Long story short, he is clearly on the hot seat.
And it was Sainz who prevented Verstappen from going 18 for 18 with a win in Singapore.