DECEMBER 12, 2022
Perez not worried about Ricciardo return
Sergio Perez insists he is "not too worried" about Daniel Ricciardo's return to Red Bull.
With Australian Ricciardo having lost his race seat at McLaren for 2023, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner last week said he thinks the 33-year-old was "stupid" to have left the energy drink owned stable in 2018.
The two parties are reuniting next year, but with Ricciardo as a part-time test and ambassadorial driver.
Ricciardo says he has no intention of attending all the grands prix.
"A race like Le Mans could be interesting," he told Auto Motor und Sport. "But not the whole season.
"Then I would have the same life as now, only with different cars. I need some time off.
"Then I'll be on the lookout for an opportunity to return in 2024 and if I do, I want to be as prepared as possible," Ricciardo added.
Some see Ricciardo's return to Red Bull colours puts immense additional pressure on Mexican Perez, who last year inked a new two-year deal to remain Max Verstappen's teammate.
But that deal was signed before the team orders controversy of Brazil, where internal conflict behind the scenes was revealed.
Nonetheless, Sky quotes Perez as insisting: "I'm not too worried about the return of Ricciardo.
"We drivers are under a lot of pressure all the time anyway so for me personally, this will not change anything.
"And for the team, I think Daniel coming back is good. He will perfectly complement our team. Daniel is a great guy and one of the people I get along with the most in the paddock.
"So I see it as great that he is now back with us," the 32-year-old added. "And again, nothing changes for me personally."