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Perez not worried by Ricciardo's return: It doesn't change anything for me

Daniel Ricciardo rejoins the Red Bull fold as a reserve driver in 2023, having voiced hopes of a return to the grid in 2024. Sergio Perez insists that the Australian's arrival does not add any additional pressure on his own shoulders.

Sergio Perez has denied feeling any extra pressure from Daniel Ricciardo's return to Red Bull as a reserve driver. Following his exit from McLaren, Ricciardo was left without a race seat for the 2023 F1 season and opted to rejoin his former team, though has voiced hopes of a return to the grid in 2024. Perez is contracted to the squad until the end of 2024, while teammate Max Verstappen holds a long-term deal taking him through until the end of 2028, so an opportunity for Ricciardo at Red Bull does not appear to be on the cards. Despite this, Perez acknowledges that there is always pressure in Formula 1, but insists that he is not worried by Ricciardo's arrival at the team.

Perez welcomes Ricciardo's Red Bull return

"I'm very relaxed," Perez told Sky Sports F1 at a Red Bull demo run in Milton Keynes when asked about Ricciardo's return to Red Bull. "We live under a lot of pressure all the time – it doesn't change anything from my side." Perez feels positive about the impact that Ricciardo can have on the team. "I think it's a great achievement for the team to have a driver like Daniel," the Mexican explained. "He's going to contribute a lot to our team. He's a great guy, he's one of the guys I get on the most [with] in the paddock. "It's great to have Daniel in the team, and from my side [it] doesn't change anything."

Ricciardo's history with Red Bull

Ricciardo's reunion with the team comes after a long history together. The Australian became a part of the Red Bull stable in his junior career and raced for the then-called Toro Rosso outfit in 2012 and 2013. For 2014, Ricciardo was promoted to the main team and achieved his debut victory at the Canadian Grand Prix, as well as outscoring teammate Sebastian Vettel in the World Championship. In the years that followed, Ricciardo claimed seven of his eight F1 wins with Red Bull as well as scoring numerous podiums. He opted to leave the squad at the end of 2018, going on to spend two years at Renault before his difficult spell with McLaren in 2021 and 2022.

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