F1 Rumors: Riccardo Not Seen as Perez’s Replacement at Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo’s challenging year at Red Bull took another hit as new reports emerged, suggesting he’s not a “real alternative” to replace Sergio Perez. The Australian driver, who has struggled to outperform teammate Yuki Tsunoda, now faces dashed hopes of securing a spot in the senior Red Bull team for 2025.

Recent rumours indicate that Red Bull is in deep negotiations with Perez about a contract extension. This news eliminates Ricciardo’s chances of a promotion. German F1 site Motorsport Total reports that Tsunoda and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz are seen as more realistic options to partner with Max Verstappen if Red Bull decides to move on from Perez.

Sainz, currently without a seat for next year after Lewis Hamilton’s unexpected move to Ferrari, reportedly reached out to Red Bull following his victory at the Australian Grand Prix. However, with the likely extension of Perez’s contract, Sainz is exploring other opportunities, including talks with Williams for the 2025 season.

Despite Perez’s recent slump, including a disastrous qualifying session and crash at the Monaco Grand Prix, Red Bull remains confident in him due to Verstappen’s dominance and the stable environment within the team.

This leaves Ricciardo in a precarious position. While Red Bull senior adviser Helmut Marko hinted at a “long-term” contract for Ricciardo earlier this year, the extension for Perez complicates the Australian’s future.

Ricciardo, contracted with Red Bull’s sister team until the end of 2024, may now need to look for a new opportunity if his dream of partnering with Verstappen doesn’t come true. His performance this season has not been impressive enough to challenge for Perez’s seat, further dampening his prospects.

Carlos Sainz, on the other hand, remains one of the most sought-after free agents. While he remains tight-lipped about his future, he acknowledges the swirling rumours and keeps all options open. Williams, despite sitting at the bottom of the constructors’ standings, is planning significant changes for 2026 with an engine deal with Mercedes, which could make them a more attractive option for Sainz.

For now, Ricciardo’s future with Red Bull remains uncertain, with Perez’s impending contract extension overshadowing his aspirations.


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