More pressure mounts on Perez after Horner comments

More pressure mounts on Perez after Horner comments

According to Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, once Sergio Perez’s contract expires Daniel Ricciardo intends to take Sergio Perez’s place.

Daniel Ricciardo left McLaren last season and was currently serving as a Red Bull reserve driver and was recently announced to make his Formula 1 comeback this weekend in Hungary with Red Bull-owned AlphaTauri.

Ricciardo drove for Red Bull Racing from 2014 to 2018, where he earned seven of his eight victories. Meanwhile, the deal for Perez who joined Red Bull in 2021 runs until the end of 2024.

“He firmly wants to be pitching for that 2025 Red Bull seat,” Horner said in an interview with Formula One’s F1 Nation podcast. “That’s his goal and objective.

“By going to AlphaTauri I think he sees that as his best route for stating his case for 2025.”

With 12 of the season’s 22 races left, Ricciardo has taken the position of underperforming Dutch rookie Nyck de Vries at bottom-placed AlphaTauri.

Red Bull has dominated the season after winning every race so far but Verstappen has pulled away from Perez by a significant margin of 99 points after winning eight of the 10 races. The Mexican’s performance has raised the possibility that he could fail to finish his contract.

De Vries’ firing last week was viewed as particularly cruel considering that it occurred before the Dutchman had the opportunity to compete in his home race at Zandvoort in August, but Horner said that prolonging the decision made no sense.

“At the moment, there’s only something in place until the end of the season, so there are no thoughts or expectations beyond that,” said Horner. “We’ve loaned him to AlphaTauri to the end of the year.

“Obviously, our drivers are going to be Max [Verstappen] and Checo again next year, but it’s always good to have talent in reserve.”

In addition, he disclosed that De Vries was fired roughly 11 laps into Daniel Ricciardo’s impressive Pirelli tyre test following the British Grand Prix.

“That would have meant obviously leaving him in the car until after the summer break,” he said. “I think the situation was clear.

“It was a question of OK, what’s the point in waiting?

“If we’ve got to do something, we might as well get on with it and give Daniel 12 races to see what he’s capable of.”

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