Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo were initially part of the champion team last season. Later, Red Bull moved the Aussie to their sister team, Alpha Tauri, to get him back into F1 racing. Hence, it seemed like the team was preparing the Aussie to replace Checo in the next season or in 2025.
Moreover, Daniel Ricciardo was indeed the top choice to replace Checo. Mainly because Max and Daniel have a great understanding and friendship in general. On top of that, Ricciardo was part of Red Bull for a long time. However, the Red Bull boss suggested there were a few more names they have been pondering about. It might be outside their two camps.
Is Daniel Ricciardo Not The Top Choice To Replace Sergio Perez?
As per Motorsport.com, the Austrian team may not look for future drivers from the camps of their two teams. Hence, the Aussie who’s driving for Alpha Tauri, might not replace Sergio Perez next year. In late 2023, Red Bull confirmed that they would respect the contract of the Mexican driver. As per the contract, Checo will stay part of the Milton Keynes team until 2024. Hence, next year, Christian Horner’s team can replace the Mexican driver. Anyhow, if it is not Daniel Ricciardo, then who will replace Sergio Perez? But F1 Pundit Will Buxton said only Ricciardo can replace Checo. Previously, the Aussie and the Dutch were Red Bull’s best driver duo.
📊 Sergio Perez has now overtaken Daniel Ricciardo as Max Verstappen's teammate for the most number of races at Red Bull— RBR Daily (@RBR_Daily) September 17, 2023
Perez 🇲🇽: 59
Ricciardo 🇦🇺: 58
Albon 🇹🇭: 26
Gasly 🇫🇷: 12#F1 pic.twitter.com/l9wVmMFisl
However, now, Sergio Perez has been Verstappen’s teammate for the most number of races at the Austrian outfit. But Buxton told the Fast and The Curious podcast that only Daniel can replace Daniel. The Aussie will keep putting pressure on Checo as long as he is part of the sister team. Only time can tell if the Aussie driver will get back to form. But if he does, then Red Bull will replace Sergio Perez with him, feels Buxton. As per the F1 pundit, Max used to look up to Ricciardo when he joined the team. But now things will be different as Verstappen has reached another level of greatness.
Checo Had A Tough Season In 2023
The Mexican driver had a difficult time in the last season. Albeit, he started really well as he won two of the first four races in 2023. However, Checo lost his golden touch since the Miami Grand Prix last year. Not only did he fail to win another race, but he also struggled a lot to catch up to his teammate. In Formula One, 2023 saw the biggest gap between the first and the second-placed drivers. However, it was Red Bull’s first one-two finish at the end of an F1 season. But the question that remains is why Sergio Perez struggled so much with RB19.
This car has been arguably the fastest car in F1’s history. Moreover, it helped Max Verstappen win as many as 19 races. And Red Bull won 21 GPs with RB19 overall. But Sergio Perez won only a couple of them. He had multiple DNFs and Q3 eliminations. Moreover, Checo did not impress the Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko at all. That’s the reason why the speculations came about the Austrian outfit planning to replace the Mexican driver. Later, Christian Horner confirmed the rumors.