Breaking: Daniel Ricciardo to join Red Bull in 2024 as Sergio Perez to retire

Sergio Perez has had an embarrassing season thus far in 2023, while Max Verstappen has dominated the Formula 1 grid.

Reports suggest that Daniel Ricciardo could make a remarkable return to Red Bull as Max Verstappen’s teammate for the 2024 Formula One season if Sergio Perez decides to leave the team at the end of the current season. 

This potential move would also involve promoting young talent Liam Lawson to partner Yuki Tsunoda at AlphaTauri, described as an “emergency solution.”

Perez’s position at Red Bull has faced increased scrutiny due to a turbulent mid-season performance, which saw him fail to reach Q3 for five consecutive races between Monaco and Britain. 

In the past three races in Singapore, Japan, and Qatar, Perez managed to score only five points. 

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Despite having a contract until the end of 2024, speculation has grown in recent weeks regarding his potential departure at the conclusion of this season, opening up a spot alongside the newly crowned three-time World Champion, Max Verstappen.

Earlier this week, rumours surfaced that Perez, 33, might even announce his retirement at his home race, the Mexico City Grand Prix. 

However, these rumours were swiftly dismissed by a source closely connected to the situation, labelling them as completely false and “absolutely not happening.”

Nonetheless, German publication Auto Motor und Sport reports that the possibility of Perez opting to leave should not be ruled out, with Red Bull purportedly already making plans for Ricciardo to take his place.

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Perez’s future hinges on his ability to maintain second place in the Drivers’ Championship, with Red Bull aiming to secure the first-ever first and second finish for their drivers in the team’s history in 2023. 

According to the report, “Perez knows that he will have a problem if he can’t hold on to second place in the Championship, contract or no contract.”

Daniel Ricciardo, who began his F1 journey with Red Bull in 2014 and won a total of seven races with the team, is keen on a return to the squad. 

However, his hopes of replacing Perez faced a setback when he sustained a broken hand in a practice crash during the Dutch Grand Prix at the end of August, which has kept him out of the last five races.

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The 34-year-old is expected to make his comeback at the upcoming United States Grand Prix in Austin, potentially stepping in for Liam Lawson, who has been deputising for Ricciardo at AlphaTauri. 

Lawson’s impressive performances have fuelled speculation about his future, and while he had no race seat confirmed for 2024, he was replaced by Ricciardo and Tsunoda for next season despite claiming the team’s best result of the year with ninth place in Singapore.

Liam Lawson has been linked to a potential move to Williams to replace Logan Sargeant, but his future may be more closely tied to the Red Bull system until an opportunity for him arises.