Daniel Ricciardo was the main contender to replace Sergio Perez in the Red Bull team. The Austrian team has been looking for replacements because Checo has not been able to perform at his best since the Miami Grand Prix. The fans initially thought they would see both Red Bull drivers go at each other for the title contention. Moreover, it started in that fashion. Max won two, and Checo won two after the first four races of the season. Due to the inconsistency of Sergio Perez, Max Verstappen has been winning all the races for Red Bull since the Miami GP.
Hence, Red Bull boss Christian Horner mentioned that they are actively looking for Checo’s replacements. Initially, the Red Bull’s choice was Daniel Ricciardo. But there are more options like Lando Norris and Liam Lawson. The McLaren driver has been highly impressive this season. Max is also good friends with Lando. Hence, Norris can take Checo’s place in the Red Bull team. But what happened to the option of Daniel Ricciardo?
Did The Crash In Zandvoort Ruin The Chances Of Daniel Ricciardo To Replace Checo?
The Aussie returned to Red Bull this season in the beginning. He was their third driver. Later, Red Bull Racing fired Nyck De Vries from their sister team and gave Nyck’s seat to the Aussie. Moreover, Red Bull wanted to be 100% sure before giving Checo’s seat to Daniel Ricciardo. The former Red Bull driver had not driven an F1 car for a long time. Hence, it was essential to quickly start the process of getting the Aussie into driving an F1 car. Perhaps the Austrian team planned to replace Checo next season itself. Albeit, Sergio Perez has one more year remaining in his contract. However, Daniel Ricciardo had an impressive restart to his F1 career with Alpha Tauri. But in the Dutch Grand Prix, the Aussie broke his hand and missed the following races. However, he’s recovering faster and would return again in the US Grand Prix.
In the meantime, Liam Lawson is driving for Alpha Tauri in his place and is doing pretty well. Albeit, the sister team of Red Bull is having an awful time on the grid in the last few seasons. But Natalie Pinkham says if Daniel Ricciardo had not broken his hand, he would for sure replace Checo next season. But now everything is under serious doubt all over again. If the accident didn’t happen to the Aussie, then Lawson and Yuki Tsunoda would continue to be teammates for the Alpha Tauri. On the other hand, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen would be teammates all over again. However, experts believes Red Bull is rethinking the whole situation before they come into a conclusion. Nobody knows what’s going to happen before the next season begins.
What Went Wrong For Sergio Perez Since The Miami GP?
There is no certain answer to what went wrong for Checo in the following races. Perhaps there is not only one reason. The Mexican driver mentioned he was under a lot of pressure. As a result, he was struggling with confidence. Initially, Checo thought he had a better understanding of the 2023 car than the RB18. But from the Miami Grand Prix, Sergio Perez lost his faith in the car due to a lack of knowledge and confidence.
He had multiple DNFs and a couple of eliminations in Q3. Moreover, the gap between the two Red Bull drivers is ever-increasing. Many fans and experts are accusing Red Bull of Favoritism. Is Red Bull only favoring Max Verstappen and neglecting Sergio Perez? The Austrian team has denied such allegations. If the drivers have the same car and no partiality is present between them, then it must be Checo’s fault.