Sergio Perez has said rumours of Daniel Ricciardo wanting his seat in 2025 are “how the business is run”, and holds no ill will towards him.
Ricciardo has made no secret of his desire to try and stake a claim to get back to the ‘senior’ Red Bull seat he vacated in 2018, returning to AlphaTauri for just a couple of weekends before breaking a metacarpal in his left hand.
Perez has a contract with Red Bull that runs until the end of 2024, with Ricciardo having openly said he wants to get back behind the wheel to see how he would perform again alongside Max Verstappen in future.
Sergio Perez on ‘great friend’ Daniel Ricciardo gunning for his seat
Perez came in for scrutiny after a flying start to the season was followed by a mid-season drop-off, coinciding with a record-breaking run of form for Verstappen that saw him sail into the distance in the Drivers’ standings.
Perez maintains second place in the World Championship, but with Ricciardo as Red Bull reserve, he was soon placed at AlphaTauri to replace the struggling Nyck de Vries and impressed when he got back out on track.
And when it comes to what is likely to be shaping up to be a battle to partner Verstappen for 2025 and beyond, Perez is remaining relaxed about the prospect.
“No, not at all. I mean, Daniel is a great friend. I get on really well with him, and this is how the business is run,” Perez told Channel 4 when asked if it feels like Ricciardo is ‘circling’ his seat for the 2025 season.
“You’re talking about 20 seats, and probably there are only very few seats that are so interesting available.”
Perez had been on the brink of exiting Formula 1 altogether at the end of 2020, when Sebastian Vettel was announced as his replacement at what would become Aston Martin the following season.
Red Bull opted to place Perez alongside Verstappen instead of Alex Albon, and when reminded of that time of uncertainty, the Mexican believes it was simply a case of knowing that he had to do all he could to keep his place on the Formula 1 grid.
“Yeah, I always knew that things are going to change very rapidly in this sport,” he said.
“This is how things are and that’s why it’s so important just to give your maximum because the day that you go home, you can go in peace with yourself knowing that you gave it all.”