Max Verstappen leaves the door wide open for Daniel Ricciardo to displace Sergio Perez

Max Verstappen has commented on the possibility of him teaming up with Daniel Ricciardo again at Red Bull.

As the 2023 Formula 1 season heats up, Max Verstappen, currently vying for his third consecutive world championship title, has expressed his support for a potential reunion with former teammate Daniel Ricciardo at Red Bull for the 2025 race seat. 

The Dutch driver and Ricciardo were previously teammates at Red Bull from 2016 to 2018, with their partnership marked by competitive tussles and memorable moments.

The duo’s history includes a notable incident at the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix where they collided, leading to Ricciardo’s eventual departure from the team after the season. 

However, Verstappen has been vocal about his respect for Ricciardo’s abilities, and their camaraderie off the track has been well-documented.

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Sergio Perez joined Verstappen as his teammate at Red Bull in 2021, coinciding with the Dutchman’s triumph in securing his maiden Formula 1 championship. 

Under Verstappen’s guidance, the team has thrived, and while Perez has tasted victory on a few occasions, he has struggled to match the consistent pace set by Verstappen.

Recently, Perez’s performance has faced scrutiny after a strong start to the 2023 season, leading to speculation about his future with the dominant Red Bull team. 

Meanwhile, Ricciardo has been forthright about his aspirations to return to Red Bull, stating, “This is where I want to be. I’m not going to weave my way around it.”

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During a press conference ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, the topic of Ricciardo’s future in Formula 1 was broached with Verstappen. 

The Dutch driver openly acknowledged his desire for Ricciardo to remain at Red Bull, emphasising their strong rapport and positive working relationship during their previous tenure together.

“Yeah, I mean, I never actually wanted him to leave,” Verstappen confessed, hinting at the fondness he has for Ricciardo as a teammate. 

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“We know that we get on very well,” he added, underscoring the compatibility they share as colleagues on and off the track.

When asked about the possibility of a future team-mate reunion with Ricciardo, Verstappen responded optimistically, highlighting the Australian’s potential to earn his way back to Red Bull based on his current performance with his current team.

“If Daniel, of course, does well where he is now, then of course you have the opportunity to go back up, right? So it’s all open, to be honest,” Verstappen explained, leaving the door wide open for Ricciardo’s potential return to the team.