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Perez: Great to have Ricciardo in the team

Perez: Great to have Ricciardo in the team

Perez: Great to have Ricciardo in the team

Sergio Perez insists he doesn’t feel the pressure from Daniel Ricciardo signing as a third driver for Red Bull for 2023, claiming it is good to have the Australian on board.

Daniel Ricciardo had his contract at McLaren cut short one year earlier than its original expiry date after failing to perform alongside Lando Norris for two seasons in a row.

But the Australian, still hoping for another chance in Formula 1, signed as a third driver for Red Bull, his old team, hoping to find his way back to the grid from 2024.

Many saw signing Ricciardo to be a threat to Sergio Perez’s position in the team, and that Red Bull may replace the Mexican should he fail to deliver the goods, keeping in mind that he had a dip in form mid season in 2022, not to mention the friction with the team’s number one driver Max Verstappen after the race in Sao Paulo.

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As a reminder, Red Bull asked Verstappen to yield his sixth place to Perez to help the latter in his fight for runner up in the Drivers’ Championship with Charles Leclerc, a fight Perez ultimately lost in Abu Dhabi. Verstappen said at the time that he had his reasons, with speculations pointing out Perez’s qualifying crash in Monaco as the reason.

The Honey Badger’s arrival changes nothing

There were claims Perez crashed on purpose, bringing out the Red Flags, to keep his third place and went on to win the race, Verstappen finishing third having qualified fourth after failing to improve when qualifying was stopped.

Asked if he felt any pressure from Ricciardo’s arrival at Red Bull, Perez told Sky Sports TV: “I’m pretty relaxed.

“I mean, we live under a lot of pressure all the time. It doesn’t change anything from my side, I think it’s a great achievement for the team to have a driver like Daniel and he’s going to contribute a lot to our team,” Perez added.

“He’s a great guy, he’s one of the guys that I get on [with] the most in the paddock, so I think it’s just great to have Daniel in the team, and from my side doesn’t change anything,” the winner of four grands prix insisted.

Perez had won three races since joining Red Bull in 2021, while Ricciardo has won seven races over the five seasons he spent at Milton Keynes.