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Ricciardo admits targeting Perez's Red Bull seat

Ricciardo admits targeting Perez's Red Bull seat
© Reuters
Daniel Ricciardo is still not denying that he is opening eyeing a return to Red Bull's top Formula 1 team for 2025.

Daniel Ricciardo is still not denying that he is opening eyeing a return to Red Bull's top Formula 1 team for 2025.

Some insiders think the move could even happen mid-season this year, if Sergio Perez continues to struggle alongside Max Verstappen - which would open up Ricciardo's current 'RB' seat at the junior team for Liam Lawson.

34-year-old Ricciardo, however, says he's not getting carried away yet.

"The return to Red Bull Racing is the bigger picture," he is quoted as saying at the Bahrain test by Speed Week. "But to be honest, I'm not thinking about it at the moment.

"I now want to concentrate fully on my work here - it won't do me any good to dream about something else. My contribution last year was appreciated and I want to continue to contribute here."

Indeed, Ricciardo had been sacked by McLaren just months before Red Bull's junior team ousted the similarly underperforming Nyck de Vries mid last season and pulled the 34-year-old Australian off the reserve bench.

He admits the McLaren saga had left him drained, but now insists that he was "constantly on the phone" to his new F1 bosses over the recent winter period.

"I was a little surprised at myself, how eager I am to work and drive," said Ricciardo. "That's the unmistakable sign for me that I'm ready for the season.

"It didn't feel like a break at all, but my 2023 was so unusual that I didn't need it. I want to perform so well here that I force myself into that (Red Bull) seat."

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Sergio Perez at the Abu Dhabi GP on November 25, 2023
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