Pink Bull driver Sergio Perez isn’t backing down from the specter of Daniel Ricciardo probably stealing his seat in 2023.
After linking again up together with his previous workforce as a reserve driver for the upcoming season, many pundits imagine Ricciardo may swoop in and land again on the grid.
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Tensions between Perez and back-to-back F1 world champion Max Verstappen boiled over final season and it’s that rift that has many believing the door may very well be ajar for the Aussie to take the seat alongside Verstappen.
Perez nonetheless wasn’t biting when requested the potential of shedding out to the fan-favourite Aussie, as an alternative providing up some glowing reward for his new teammate.
“We’re in a unbelievable place to have Daniel, such an skilled driver who is aware of Pink Bull from his time right here. Though the automobile may be very completely different to when he was right here, it’s nonetheless one thing he is aware of fairly nicely,” Perez stated.
“We’re actually fortunate to reap the benefits of him and the work he’s going to be doing. By way of stress, it’s at all times there – it doesn’t matter if Daniel is right here, or anybody. I’m a Pink Bull driver, and if you’re a Pink Bull driver you need to ship. It’s no completely different to some other 12 months.”
Perez is contracted via till the top of the 2024 season, but when tensions between he and Verstappen develop or if he struggles to make an affect the constructor’s champion may make a daring change.
With Pink Bull’s prior historical past of adjusting workforce make-up on a whim, former F1 star turned commentator David Coulthard says Perez’s future is “in his personal fingers”.
“He has entry to the info of the world champion.
“If he does, then the world championship is there for him to place his hand on.
“If he doesn’t, then he can be one other driver that gained just a few grands prix.”
Pink Bull traditionally haven’t been averse to swapping teammates round their two-team arrange – Verstappen himself joined the workforce from junior workforce Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri) in 2016 earlier than the Spanish Grand Prix, changing Russian Daniil Kvyat.
Ricciardo departed the Milton Keynes outfit in 2019, after which the revolving door of teammates for Verstappen continued – Frenchman Pierre Gasly was promoted from Toro Rosso, solely to be demoted earlier than season’s finish in favour of Thai driver Alexander Albon, who himself misplaced his place in on the finish of 2020 for Sergio Perez.
Ricciardo’s transfer to Pink Bull as a reserve, rejecting race seat gives at smaller groups Williams and Haas, has been roundly criticised throughout the F1 paddock.
Journalist Will Buxton stated: “I’d argue he stands to realize nothing.”
Former World Champion Jenson Button additionally criticised the transfer, saying he was taking an enormous gamble on a “workforce the place he thinks he can get a seat for 2024, in any other case it’s recreation over since you get forgotten after a 12 months in F1.”
Regardless of Ricciardo’s projected A$36 million in earnings subsequent 12 months off the again of his McLaren payout and Pink Bull deal, his supervisor insists “none of that is about ego or unachievable calls for.”
“That is a few man who was dealt a nasty hand, now discovering the fitting subsequent alternative.”