Sergio Perez responds to reports Daniel Ricciardo is coming for his Red Bull seat

Michelle Foster
Sergio Perez not happy in the Red Bull garage. Monaco May 2023

Sergio Perez not happy in the Red Bull garage. Monaco May 2023

Told by Christian Horner that Daniel Ricciardo is gunning for his Red Bull seat for 2025, Sergio Perez says he isn’t even thinking that far ahead.

Following on from rumours of disaccord during the 2022 season, a year in which Sergio Perez is said by Dutch media to have deliberate crashed during qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix with Max Verstappen paying him back for that by not playing the team game in Sao Paulo, Red Bull brought Daniel Ricciardo back into the fold for the 2023 season.

The Honey Badger, licking his wounds after two traumatic seasons at McLaren, was signed as the team’s official reserve driver before being loaned out to AlphaTauri to replace the beleaguered, and ultimately sacked, Nyck de Vries.

Sergio Perez ‘not thinking’ about 2025

Ricciardo though, has made no secret about wanting to end his Formula 1 career with Red Bull, the team with whom he claimed seven of his eight grand prix wins, and has said it would be a “fairytale” ending.

And now Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has come out saying the Honey Badger wants Perez’s seat come 2025 with the Mexican driver’s latest contract signed in Monaco last year running for two seasons, 2023 and ’24.

Ricciardo’s chances have been bolstered by not only his return to AlphaTauri, the team he raced for in 2012 and ’13 before stepping up to Red Bull, but also by Perez’s recent struggles.

While his team-mate Max Verstappen is on a six-race winning streak, Perez has recorded just two podium results in that same time with the Mexican driver’s Sundays undone by his qualifying struggles. Perez hasn’t featured in Q3 in the last five races.

He, however, has shrugged off talk of Ricciardo wanting his race-seat come 2025.

“I’ve been in F1 for 13 years so I don’t think further ahead,” he told the media in Hungary. “I’m dealing with my engineers and to be honest I don’t even have the time to discuss what’s going on with Daniel.

‘It’s a great opportunity for him, and that’s it.

“I’m focusing on Hungary and Belgium, I’m not thinking about 2025, it’s so far ahead.” recommends

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The driver insisted that whatever happens next, it’s on him.

“It’s in my hands and that’s what I’m focused on,” said the six-time grand prix winner who sits P2 in the Drivers’ standings.

“I’m a winner, I don’t like having bad weekends. It’s not what I’m here for, I would rather be at home doing something else.

“I’m here because I know I can do it and I’ve done it before. People on the sofa forget how much in the little details we are.

“We’ve seen it with other drivers and teams, they have had difficult periods but they don’t have 20 replacements after each session like they do with the Red Bull drivers.”

Perez’s ‘bad’ weekends, as he put it, have largely been a qualifying problem with the driver failing to make it into Q3 the last five races and only once has he been able to recover to bag a podium finish.

He though, downplayed that, saying: “It’s not a concern. Qualifying has always been a different situation and we haven’t dealt with it as good as we could. But there have always been some external factors, it isn’t pure pace that has gone away.

“The deficit I have been experiencing with the car in the last few races, whenever there is a change in condition. It tends to get wider. That’s been something that has caught us out. The last five races there have been a change in conditions in qualifying, so that has put us on the backfoot.”

As for Ricciardo, the driver blatantly stating he wants Perez’s Red Bull seat, the Mexican driver has nothing but kind words for his rival.

“I think Daniel has been doing a lot of different things, and I think he certainly is still a great driver and will bring a lot of knowledge to the team,” he said.

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