Breaking: Daniel Ricciardo reacts to replacing Sergio Perez in 2024

Sergio Perez struggled for most of the 2023 season after initially looking like a championship contender.

Daniel Ricciardo has admitted that rumours linking him with a remarkable return to Red Bull are making him “smile”, as he never thought he’d be in a position where such speculation would exist.

Ricciardo raced for Red Bull from 2014 until the end of 2018, when he departed the side to join Renault after becoming disgruntled reportedly at how Max Verstappen was being favoured.

Whilst he did well at Renault, he was never fighting for victories, something he was often doing when racing for the Milton Keynes-based side.

As a result, he moved to McLaren at the start of 2021, a move which almost ended his F1 career.

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He did at least return to winning ways at the Italian Grand Prix that season but his performances were more often than not poor throughout 2021 and 2022.

Because of this, McLaren terminated his contract which left Ricciardo with no choice but to take a sabbatical.

Being resigned by Red Bull as their development driver for 2023 ultimately saved his career, as he was chosen to replace Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri mid-season, after the Dutch driver was sacked.

Since returning to the grid, Ricciardo has been brilliant and like his old self, something most thought wasn’t possible.

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Prior to returning to the grid, he was mostly spoken about in the media in a negative light, given how his career had just gone downhill since leaving Red Bull the first time.

“I think 12 months ago a lot of the rumours were normally negative,” Ricciardo said, as reported by

Five years on from his Red Bull exit, he’s now heavily rumoured with a return to racing for the side, alongside Verstappen.

Whilst Sergio Perez is contracted for 2024, it’s widely expected that Ricciardo will replace him in 2025 or potentially even mid-2024, should the Mexican driver fail to perform.

Ricciardo admits that he never thought he’d ever be linked to Red Bull again, after the last 18 months he’s had.

“Whether it’s a rumour or not, I would never have thought 12 to 18 months ago that it would ever be said that I one day might return to Red Bull,” Ricciardo admitted.

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For the time being, it’s purely a rumour but a rumour which his bringing pleasure to Ricciardo, and certainly no “pressure at all”.

“Even though it’s just a rumour, I just didn’t think such a rumour could exist, so it makes me smile,” added the Aussie.

“I don’t see it as pressure at all. It just gives me a lot of courage that through the highs and lows, the ups and downs, if you stay on the straight and narrow, crazy things can happen.”