Paris: Max Verstappen suggested on Tuesday that Carlos Sainz would replace Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari after saying he didn't think Daniel Ricciardo would move to the Italian Formula One outfit next season.
Ricciardo and Spaniard Sainz are the favourites to move to the 'Scuderia' following Vettel's announcement on Tuesday that he would be leaving at the end of the 2020 campaign.
Italian-speaking, Australia-born Ricciardo is in the last of a lucrative two-year contract with Renault.
Asked by former F1 racer David Coulthard whether the seat would go to an Italian sounding name or a Spanish sounding name, in reference to Ricciardo and McLaren driver Sainz, Verstappen said: "I think it's not going to be the Italian sounding name."
"Let's see. At the end of the day, it's just a guess. We'll have to wait and see," he added during the Instagram Q&A.
Ricciardo, 30, has won seven Grand Prixs during his F1 career, while 25-year-old Sainz is yet to win a single race.
Verstappen also ruled himself out of moving to Ferrari, saying that he "definitely" would not be leaving Red Bull at the end of a season whose start has been delayed until July due to the coronavirus.
"I'm at Red Bull. I saw some questions coming along if I was going to Ferrari, but I'm not," he said.
Vettel said in his announcement that there was no longer a "common desire" to work together with Ferrari, who have not announced a replacement for the four-time world champion.
It has been widely reported that after being outpaced by 22-year-old teammate Charles Leclerc in 2019, Ferrari had offered Vettel only a one-year contract extension at a significantly reduced salary.
Last year Vettel was time and again put in the shade by Leclerc, the prodigious talent who is 10 years his junior and entering his second season with Ferrari.
The driver from Monaco claimed seven poles in his maiden season at Maranello, winning twice including an emotional triumph at Monza.