Perhaps even themselves didn't expect Daniel Ricciardo to leave the team. The Australian said himself that it was becoming more and more likely he would sign for Red Bull. With the surprise move, the Austrian team now face a race against time to assess their options and sign a driver for the 2019 season. We take a look at their options.
Alonso is still without a deal next season, and we know he is getting bored and frustrated at McLaren. The Spaniard deserves a big team in F1, and there's rarely a seat available. Could he take it?
Well, there's the Honda thing. Red Bull will be using the Honda engines next season, and we know how that ended last time Alonso drove one of those...! Also, surely he wants to achieve his dreams of a triple crown.
Sainz is currently under contract by Red Bull and on a 'loan type' deal at Renault. It could be possible that a straight swap occurs.
However, Sainz has been rumoured to be moving elsewhere. He hasn't been pulling in the best results so far this season which could put Red Bull off.
Red Bull traditionally look at their little brothers Toro Rosso. They could end up, as Marko suggested, promoting Pierre Gasly. He has been impressive so far this season, including his 6th place finish in Hungary last weekend.
But Gasly is still in his rookie season. And adding him alongside Max Verstappen would form a rather young partnership. Yes, it could give them an advantage in the future, but he's too inexperienced.
We think the most likely option is Carlos Sainz. But what do you think? Let us know in the comments. Perhaps we've missed a driver?