Verstappen on Ricciardo replacing Perez

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is open to Ricciardo’s Return to Red Bull Racing as teammate replacing Sergio Perez. Two-time world champion Max Verstappen has expressed his openness to the idea of reuniting with former teammate Daniel Ricciardo at Red Bull in the future. The Australian driver, who recently made his return to Formula 1 with AlphaTauri, could potentially secure a seat at Red Bull in the coming seasons.

Verstappen and Ricciardo were previously teammates at Red Bull from 2016 to 2018. After leaving the team, Ricciardo joined Renault in 2019 before moving on to McLaren for the 2021 and 2022 seasons, which was largely unsuccessful apart from a freak win at Monza in 2021 for the Woking team.


Ricciardo taking first steps to return as team mate

The Australian found himself without a seat for 2023 after a mutual agreement with McLaren to part ways early, and took up a reserve driver role with Red Bull, but he was soon promoted to AlphaTauri following Nyck de Vries’ departure, marking his comeback at the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend.

This move has shown that Red Bull has granted the Aussie eight time Grand Prix winner a lifeline to revive his career at the pinnacle of global motorsport.



Horner says 2025 is the target for Ricciardo

Christian Horner has shed light on Daniel Ricciardo’s future aspirations, suggesting that the Australian driver has his sights set on a seat alongside Max Verstappen at Red Bull in 2025. Horner, the Team Principal of Red Bull Racing, made these remarks during the Beyond the Grid podcast ahead of the upcoming race.

The target date of 2025 is chosen because Red Bull currently has a nominal contract extension with Sergio Perez for the next year, and they need to motivate the Mexican driver to contribute towards the team’s bid to win the F1 constructors championship, especially with twelve races remaining in the season.


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Despite Sergio Perez having the worst record in terms of percentage points scored for the team among the mid-pack drivers chasing Red Bull, Horner now claims that Perez’s seat is safe for next year, regardless of his performance.

When questioned about the length of Daniel Ricciardo’s contract, Horner explained to Tom Clarkson, “At the moment, there’s only something in place until the end of the season. So there’s no thoughts or expectations beyond that. We’ve loaned him to AlphaTauri until the end of the year. Obviously, our drivers are going to be Max and Checo [Sergio Perez] again next year. But it’s always good to have talent in reserve.”

Horner added, “I think Daniel is viewing AlphaTauri as a stepping stone. He firmly wants to be pitching for that 2025 Red Bull seat. That’s his golden objective. And by going to AlphaTauri, I think he sees that as his best route to state his case for 2025.”

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Verstappen wades into the discussion on Ricciardo

During a press conference in Budapest, Verstappen shared his thoughts on De Vries’ departure and Ricciardo’s return to the grid:

“I already spoke to Daniel quite a bit last week and I could see he was very excited, especially after driving our car [during the Pirelli test at Silverstone].

“It’s great to have Daniel back on the grid as part of the family. On the other hand, I’m also good friends with Nyck [De Vries] so it’s sad to see him go. But unfortunately, that’s also how the world works.”

Verstappen emphasised that there are no hard feelings about the changes and that everyone will find new opportunities. He acknowledged Ricciardo’s readiness for the challenge and the potential for a return to Red Bull.


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“I don’t think there are any hard feelings, that’s how it goes. You have to move on, there are plenty of other opportunities. I’m sure everyone will land on their feet as usual and we’ll move on.”

“Now the opportunity is there again for Daniel, he’s had a little reset, and I think he’s ready to go again.”


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Verstappen on Ricciardo as team mate at Red Bull

Ricciardo himself has admitted to aiming for a Red Bull seat in the future. When asked about the possibility of reuniting with his former teammate, Verstappen responded positively:

“Yeah… I never really wanted him to leave [in relation to rumors about Ricciardo’s departure from Red Bull due to his relationship with Verstappen]. No, I mean…all those things. We all know that we get on very well, and if Daniel does well where he is now [at AlphaTauri], then of course he will have the opportunity to come back, won’t he? So everything is open, to be honest.”


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Praise for de Vries from Verstappen

Regarding De Vries, Verstappen praised his driving abilities but acknowledged the challenges faced by rookies in Formula 1. Despite not securing standout moments in the AlphaTauri, Verstappen believes De Vries will find opportunities with competitive teams in other championships.

“I think we all know that Nyck is an incredible driver, as he has already shown in different categories. I think with these new generations of single-seaters [in F1], when you’re a rookie, no matter how old you are or whatever, they’re quite difficult to master on top of the fact that it wasn’t the most competitive car [the AlphaTauri], which made it even more difficult,” added Verstappen.

“Sometimes you just need those one or two moments where you shine, where you maybe get a point or two, but that kind of moment never happened. Then the team wanted to change some things and that’s also part of Formula 1.”

“I know he has a lot of opportunities, I spoke to him last week, we saw each other, and he will surely find his feet with a big team somewhere in a big championship. I don’t think it’s really the end of the world.”

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