Perez sure Ricciardo will be “massive help” and not a threat to his seat | 2023 F1 season


Sergio Perez says he is pleased to see Daniel Ricciardo arrive at Red Bull as the team’s reserve driver – and does not see the return of one of his predecessors as a threat to his place at the team.

Red Bull’s line-up for the next two seasons is already confirmed, with Perez signed through to 2024 and his team mate Max Verstappen to 2028. Ricciardo, who is returning to the team after four years with rival outfits, is one of several reserve drivers they have contracted for this year.

“I think we are very fortunate to have Daniel,” said Perez. “The level of experience that he has, and to be able to have him back at the factory with the engineers, he really knows when we are talking about the car, he would really understand what we’re talking about.

“I think it’s great to have someone like him around, and especially on weekends he will be a massive help.”

Perez won three grands prix over his first two seasons at Red Bull – as Ricciardo did. He brushed off any concern that the team’s former driver would be a future threat to his race seat.

“No, when you are at Red Bull Racing, you’re going to perform at your best,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if Daniel is here or not. Red Bull can take pretty much any driver they want in the grid.”

Verstappen also sees the value of Ricciardo‘s return to Red Bull. Ricciardo raced for the team from 2014 to 2018, taking a total of seven victories during that time.

“He’s always been a professional and a super-nice guy to work with as well,” said Verstappen. “As a team mate, from my side, as well, but I think also for the whole team also back at the factory, for the people working at the simulator rely on his experience.

“He’s raced in F1 for a very long time, he’s a race-winner, so we’re very happy to have him on board, that’s for sure.”

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