Christian Horner quizzed on what Daniel Ricciardo return means for Sergio Perez

Henry Valantine
Christian Horner and Daniel Ricciardo share a joke at the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner chats with Daniel Ricciardo.

Christian Horner has denied that Daniel Ricciardo’s return to Formula 1 was connected to Sergio Perez struggling for form at Red Bull.

Ricciardo was drafted in to replace the struggling Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri after a successful tyre test for Pirelli at Silverstone in July, with the experienced Australian coming in for the rest of the season at Red Bull’s junior team.

This coincided with a dip in form for Perez, who was in the midst of a run of five consecutive races without making it through to the top 10 in qualifying, and Ricciardo’s return was seen by some on the outside as a way of turning up the pressure on the current Red Bull driver.

Christian Horner: Daniel Ricciardo return ‘a no-brainer’ for AlphaTauri

In the two races since Ricciardo’s arrival back on the grid, Perez has taken two podiums for Red Bull and has looked closer to the form he showed at the start of the season, albeit still some way behind runaway World Championship leader Max Verstappen.

Horner argued that being Verstappen’s team-mate is currently the “toughest job in Formula 1”, and said separately that the Mexican has performed well since his arrival at the team in 2021.

But when discussing placing eight-time race winner Ricciardo back on the grid in the Red Bull junior setup, he denied there was a correlation between that and Perez struggling himself, with Ricciardo making it clear he aims to be a candidate to make a return to the team come the 2025 season.

“I don’t think so,” Horner told Australian publication Speedcafe when asked if Ricciardo’s return was linked to Perez struggling for form.

“I was keen to bring Daniel back into the fold.

“We spent the last seven months rebuilding him and getting the old Daniel bank that we recognise from when he was last with us. recommends

F1 points all-time rankings: Where do Hamilton, Verstappen and Alonso feature?

Revealed: The most striking upgrades brought to the F1 2023 grid so far

“It was always scheduled for him to do that tyre test and that was going to be very much a moment in time just to see where he was at.

“I think with Nyck struggling to get to grips with it, it just took on more relevance to give AlphaTauri some direction with an experienced driver.

“It seemed to make a great deal of sense, and after his performance at the test, it was a no-brainer.”

Read next: Helmut Marko speaks out on ‘special clause’ in Sergio Perez’s Red Bull contract