Calls grow louder for Daniel Ricciardo to replace struggling Sergio Perez at Red Bull – Maxsports
May 15, 2024

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Calls grow louder for Daniel Ricciardo to replace struggling Sergio Perez at Red Bull

The knives are sharpening! Calls grow louder for Daniel Ricciardo to replace struggling Sergio Perez at Red Bull – but team principal Christian Horner gives the Aussie a reality check

  • Calls for Ricciardo’s F1 return gain steam
  • Sergio Perez experiencing serious form slump
  • Team boss says Ricciardo return not planned

Calls for Daniel Ricciardo to make a return to Formula One and replace underperforming Red Bull star Sergio Perez have grown louder – but team boss Christian Horner has poured cold water on the idea.

Perez has struggled in recent races with qualifying debacles leaving serious questions about his future.

The Mexican was knocked out in the early stages of qualifying for the British GP – the fifth race in succession he has started outside the top 10.

He ended up finishing the race in sixth place, but Australian F1 great Mark Webber wasn’t overly impressed. 

‘Anyone can gain positions in the races. Even I can do that, even though I’m an old fart now,’ Webber told Channel 4.

Calls for Daniel Ricciardo to make a return to Formula One and replace underperforming Red Bull star Sergio Perez have grown louder

Calls for Daniel Ricciardo to make a return to Formula One and replace underperforming Red Bull star Sergio Perez have grown louder

Embattled Red Bull star Sergio Perez has struggled to find form of late

Embattled Red Bull star Sergio Perez has struggled to find form of late

‘He has to sort qualifying out, he has to sort the mixed conditions out, and I think he’s going to be alright but at this level you have to deliver in all conditions.’ 

Perez’s form slump has sparked calls for Ricciardo to be shoehorned into his position behind the wheel.

The Aussie has been waiting in the wings at Red Bull and hopes to have a full time seat with the team by 2024 – but team boss Horner doesn’t see it happening any time soon.

‘It’s not something that we’re planning, that’s for certain,’ Horner told media after the British GP.

‘So it was right to give him the opportunity this year to remain within the team and keep him around the sport.

‘I think it would have been a loss to the sport for him just to disappear and I think that I didn’t recognise the Daniel of the last couple of years so I’ll be very interested to see what kind of job he does on Tuesday.’

Ricciardo will be back in a Red Bull car this week to take part in a Pirelli tyre test, and Horner believes it will be a good test for Ricciardo too.

Team boss Christian Horner says replacing Perez is not something the team is planning

Team boss Christian Horner says replacing Perez is not something the team is planning

Ricciardo's best chance of a return in 2024 might be with sister team AlphaTauri

Ricciardo’s best chance of a return in 2024 might be with sister team AlphaTauri

‘It’s an important test for Pirelli but it’s also going to be great to see him back in a Red Bull car and see what he can do,’ said Horner.

‘Where he’s at, both on pace and mentally, physically and to get his feedback on this car as well.

‘So I think it’s a good opportunity for him to get back behind the wheel of a car that’s just won the British Grand Prix.’

The Honey Badger’s return to the grid could well be on the cards, but his best bet might be with Red Bull’s sister team, AlphaTauri.

Under-pressure driver Nyck De Vries had reportedly been handed a four-race ultimatum to improve, so a seat could open up there.

De Vries is currently sitting in 19th for AlphaTauri, and is yet to score a point in 2023.