Ted Kravitz identifies only driver threat to Daniel Ricciardo’s dream Red Bull return

Jamie Woodhouse
Daniel Ricciardo during pre-season testing.

RB's Daniel Ricciardo.

Sky F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz believes it is between Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz, should Red Bull look to replace Sergio Perez, arguing Ricciardo would be better for team “morale”.

Perez is into the final year of his Red Bull contract and must withstand the pressure applied by the likes of Ricciardo and the Aussie’s RB team-mate Yuki Tsunoda, who hold a clear interest in moving up to the senior team, but could Sainz have a Red Bull reunion on his radar to add another contender to the mix?

Ted Kravitz names Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz as Red Bull contenders

Sainz is on the lookout for a new team after Ferrari confirmed the signature of seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton from 2025, Sainz proving at the F1 2024 Bahrain season-opener with several hard-fought and successful battles against team-mate Charles Leclerc that he is out to find a competitive new home.

The Spaniard arrived on the F1 scene with Red Bull’s junior team then known as Toro Rosso, so could a return to the Red Bull family be on the cards, this time with the senior squad? That would see him reunite with former Toro Rosso team-mate Max Verstappen.

And Kravitz does see Sainz as the only threat to Ricciardo completing his Red Bull comeback story.

As part of a Sky Sports fan Q&A, Kravitz was asked about Ricciardo’s F1 2024 outlook and chances of replacing Perez come 2025, replying: “Firstly, I think he’s going to have a very good season.

“I think he’s going be on the podium at least once in that RB. I think he’s going to score a lot of points and help move that team forward.

“They’ve got a lot of big technical signings – Tim Goss, a very experienced technical guy, and a lot of people have joined from other teams, including Red Bull.

“And as for replacing Perez, Daniel is still, I think, the number one candidate to replace Perez, now that they can’t get Lando [Norris] and Lewis has gone elsewhere, it’s really between Ricciardo and Sainz.”

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Out of the two, Kravitz believes it is Ricciardo who would get the nod, arguing he would be better for team “morale” at Red Bull.

“I just think Ricciardo would be a little bit better for inter-team morale, purely because it didn’t end particularly well when Sainz and Verstappen were team-mates,” Kravitz continued.

“But they’re both older and they’ve both moved on a lot from the Toro Rosso days, so maybe it might work.

“But I still think somewhere deep in Red Bull, the plan is for Danny Ric to replace Checo in 2025.”

Perez has been at Red Bull since 2021, taking over from Alex Albon in that second seat alongside Verstappen, which has become quite the poisoned chalice.

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