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HomeNewsF1: Red Bull star Sergio Perez shares thoughts on Daniel Ricciardo’s return

F1: Red Bull star Sergio Perez shares thoughts on Daniel Ricciardo’s return

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After news broke of Daniel Ricciardo’s move back to Red Bull, analysts were throwing down theories over the threat it posed to the career of current driver Sergio Perez.

The excitement about the Aussie driver rejoining the championship winning team has mounted despite him now becoming Red Bull’s number three after parting ways with McLaren.

While he won’t be racing in the hot seat, he will be hanging over Perez’s shoulder as a regular member in the garage waiting for the 32-year-old to dip.

The Mexican star has spent two seasons carving out a nice piece of the leaderboard with the Bulls and has comfortably slotted into the team’s number two role as Max Verstappen continues to dominate the field.

Just three points divided Perez and Ferrari star Charles Leclerc as Ferrari salvaged a second place driver finish following a tumultuous series of strategy blunders.

In his four years driving for Red Bull in Formula 1, Ricciardo collected eight victories and earned a reputation as the best overtaker on the grid. The Aussie earned an F1 seat as Red Bull was coming out of its golden patch when Sebastian Vettel conquered a run of four straight championships.

With the mechanical dominance behind him, Ricciardo built a name for himself and was able to seal a lucrative deal with Renault for 2019 and beyond.

There were rumours Ricciardo was forced out of Red Bull as Verstappen began to show glimpses of his might at a young age, leading to a suspected game of favourites among the team pushing to break the world’s youngest champion record again.

However, it appears the hatchet has been buried, opening the door for Ricciardo to one day again race in a Grand Prix for a winning team.

The only thing is, there’s absolutely no chance Verstappen is the one who will get the boot.

But Perez, a notoriously laid back operator, says he isn’t worried in the slightest.

“I‘m pretty relaxed,” the Mexican told Sky Sports F1.

“We live under a lot of pressure all the time. It doesn‘t change anything from my side.

“I think it‘s a great achievement for the team to have a driver like Daniel. He’s going to contribute a lot to our team.”

“He‘s a great guy, he’s one of the guys I get on with the most in the paddock. It’s just great to have Daniel in the team and from my side, it doesn’t change anything.

“Daniel and myself, we started our careers at a similar time. We‘ve known each other for a long time and certainly get on with him.”

Ricciardo was linked with a return to Alpine, formerly Renault, before the team ultimately signed Pierre Gasly to partner with Esteban Ocon.

A seat was said to be available with Haas, however the West Australian said he needed a year away from the grid to ensure he didn’t lose his love for the sport.

His return to the Red Bull garage will see him become the teams third driver where he’ll take on simulator and marketing duties.

The role will not require him to be a part of the team for the entirety of the 2023 season, allowing him to have time away from the sport and to himself.

He said the decision to return allows him to remain in the forefront of other teams’ minds as he hunts a 2024 grid spot.

“It’s nice to be in a winning environment, I think you learn a lot,” Ricciardo said to Speedcafe.

“If there’s not a seat with them, potentially they can help find a seat elsewhere.

“Also, being linked with a top team, a bit like [Nyck] de Vries was with Mercedes, you’re living with a top team – I feel like you’re more, I don’t want to use the word relevance, but you’re kind of more recognised and less forgotten.

“So there’s a lot of things.”

Ricciardo broke down his role within the Red Bull team, saying that while he’ll still be around it also gives him freedom away from the sport.

“I’m not going to do every race,” Ricciardo said.

“I still want that time to myself, but I will still be at some races, do some sim, listen and try to lend my experience and stuff and if I can help, sure, that’s a great thing.

“If I can do any form of testing, that would be nice just to stay also car-fit.

“So it’s kind of just being in enough where I’m still keeping up to date, so to speak, but then this is enough removed where it does give me that break.

“And I’m sure when I’m at the races watching I’ll be envious I’m not on the track, so these things will probably feed me in a good way.”

The 2023 season kicks off in Bahrain on March 5.

Read related topics:Daniel Ricciardo

Story Credit: news.com.au

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