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Ricciardo delighted over Perez F1 Red Bull replacement rumours

Ricciardo delighted over Perez F1 Red Bull replacement rumours

Ricciardo delighted over Perez F1 Red Bull replacement rumours

Ricciardo delighted over Perez F1 Red Bull replacement rumours

Daniel Ricciardo has revealed his delight at being linked with a possible return to Red Bull to replace Sergio Perez.

Despite Perez having a confirmed seat at Red Bull for 2024, the rumours that Ricciardo could be in contention to replace the Mexican next year have been ferocious.

Since replacing Nyck de Vries halfway though the season at AlphaTauri, Red Bull's sister team, Perez's struggles in the RB19 have come under a microscope.

READ MORE: Ricciardo reveals major advantage over F1 rivals for 2024 season

And despite having a deal that seemingly guaranteed him a drive next to Max Verstappen at Christian Horner's outfit, this did not stop the rumour mill going into overdrive.

Daniel Ricciardo returned to F1 halfway through the 2023 season at AlphaTauri
Sergio Perez has been unable to keep up with Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen this year
Rumours refused to go away over a possible Ricciardo return to Red Bull

And Ricciardo, being all too familiar with the cut-throat nature of the sport, has admitted his relief – tinged with surprise – that he has been linked with such a prestigious move to the F1 constructors' champions.

Ricciardo: Red Bull rumours make me smile

“I definitely don’t see it as pressure,” Ricciardo told the media ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when asked about the rumours.

“I think 12 months ago, a lot of the – call it rumour lists, for lack of a better word – were normally negatively directed at me.

“So for me to be in a conversation again, whether it’s a rumour or not about ‘Oh, could you be back in a Red Bull one day?’, 12 months ago, 18 months ago, I never would have thought that would be a conversation.

”Even if it is just a rumour, I just didn’t think a rumour like that would exist.

“I think that just makes me smile. It gives me a lot of encouragement that just through the highs and the lows, the ups and downs, if you stay on the straight and narrow, crazy things can happen.”

READ MORE: Ricciardo takes aim at Sainz with F1 'culprit' claim

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