Red Bull Racing is reportedly eyeing a surprising choice for their 2024 lineup. Despite leaving the team at the end of 2018, Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo has emerged as Red Bull’s first choice if they decide to part ways with Sergio Perez.
Ricciardo’s return to the Formula 1 grid in the current season has been nothing short of sensational. He rejoined the Red Bull family, not with the main Red Bull Racing team but with their sister outfit, AlphaTauri. This move saw him replace Nyck de Vries, who had been struggling to deliver the expected results.
Although a temporary injury momentarily interrupted Ricciardo’s comeback, the Australian driver has already been confirmed as part of AlphaTauri’s lineup for the upcoming season, showcasing the team’s faith in his abilities.
However, the real intrigue lies in Red Bull Racing’s camp. According to Lawrence Barretto’s report on F1.com, Sergio Perez finds himself under mounting pressure within the team. Despite having what is often considered the best car on the grid, Perez has managed to score only a little over half the number of points accumulated by his teammate, the formidable Max Verstappen. The Mexican driver trails behind Verstappen by a staggering 177 points.
Barretto’s sources suggest that Daniel Ricciardo is Red Bull’s preferred choice to replace Perez, should the need arise, either mid-season or at the end of the 2024 campaign. This potential move has added fuel to an already intense battle between the two drivers.
While Sergio Perez has managed to secure two Grand Prix victories earlier in the 2023 season, the pressure on him has intensified, especially with Ricciardo’s return to the grid. Ricciardo’s comeback to Formula 1 was fueled by his desire to secure a seat with Red Bull, a team with which he achieved significant success in the past.
Perez’s current contract with Red Bull is set to expire at the end of the 2024 season, and this impending deadline presents the team with a significant decision. They must determine whether to retain Perez as Max Verstappen’s teammate or opt for the experienced and talented Ricciardo.