Ricciardo hopes of top-flight elevation ended as Red Bull makes major announcement

Matt Shrivell
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Daniel Ricciardo is under pressure to stay at Red Bull after a major announcement.
Daniel Ricciardo is under pressure to stay at Red Bull after a major announcement. Credit: AP

Daniel Ricciardo’s hopes and aspirations of snaring the coveted second seat alongside world champion Max Verstappen have been quashed as Red Bull announced a major re-signing.

Christian Horner’s powerhouse team confirmed they have extended the contract, of Sergio Perez for a further two years through to the end of the 2026 season

Perez’s contract was up for renewal at the end of the season but the extension will keep him at the world champions into a sixth campaign.

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Ricciardo has not shied away from his plan to climb the ranks within the Red Bull outfit and once again return to the top-flight team, however, a season filled with incidents and poor results has left the Australian floundering and contemplating his future

“Obviously, I don’t want to just be here to be here; I want to earn that seat and the team is hopefully further up,’’ Ricciardo told Speedcafe.

“But is it more fun fighting at the front? Is it more fun fighting for podiums and wins? Absolutely.

“And the truth is, if I draw a line under it and I speak about myself in the third person: Why did Daniel Ricciardo return after a few months off last year? Because I believe I can stand on the podium again. I can win races again.”

But after eight races, the pressure is on Ricciardo as he fights for his future not only at his Visa Cash App RB team, but in Formula 1.

Expected to have made short work of teammate Yuki Tsunoda, after eight races, the Japanese youngster holds a 7-1 lead in qualifying, a 6-1 record in races (both men had DNFs in China) and a 19-5 lead on the drivers championship table.

But the fact that Perez’s deal is for two seasons, means Ricciardo, will be 36 years old when he would possibly get another look at a seat with the Red Bull team.

Before Red Bull announced its new deal with Perez rumours began swirling that Ricciardo is likely to retain his seat at RB — but only because of his friendship with Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

BBC senior Formula 1 writer Andrew Benson wrote recently that Horner is committed to Ricciardo despite his Japanese teammate besting him this year.

“At the moment, though, Ricciardo is protected by team principal Christian Horner, sources say, and is safe for now from being replaced by reserve Liam Lawson,” Benson said.

“It is not hard to imagine a Lawson and Ricciardo line-up at RB in 2025, though, if Horner does not shift his stance and Tsunoda moves elsewhere.”

The signing will create waves around the F1 teams with drivers looking to secure contracts for next season and beyond eyeing seats and deals.

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