Red Bull boss admits that Daniel Ricciardo is in the frame to replace Sergio Perez, despite Aussie bombing out in qualifying at Belgium Grand Prix
- Red Bull boss knows Ricciardo wants a seat in 2025
- He insists the car is Perez’s at the moment
- Meanwhile Oscar Piastri starts next to the World Champion
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has revealed that Daniel Ricciardo could be racing to replace Sergio Perez, however any change is not likely to happen until the 2025 F1 season.
Ricciardo was signed by Red Bull as a reserve driver before switching to Red Bull-owned AlphaTauri where he replaced the sacked Nyck de Vries.
The Aussie driver will start at the back of the pack at the Belgium Grand Prix after an infraction during qualifying while Red Bull star Perez will start second on the grid behind Charles Leclerc.
This makes it extremely tough for Ricciardo to impress but Red Bull boss Christian Horner sent a clear message to both drivers last night.
Horner told the F1 Nation podcast that Perez was safe for the 2024 season, despite recent moves to elevate reserve driver Ricciardo to the grid with sister team AlphaTauri.
Charles Leclerc (in red) will start from pole position in Belgium, with World Champion Max Verstappen (middle) in 6th while Sergio Perez on right will start with Leclerc
Red Bull owner Christian Horner says Ricciardo is well and truly in the frame for a Red Bull seat in 2025
Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo has the job ahead despite being 6th fastest in practice he will be shuffled to 19th on the grid after a mistake
‘Obviously our drivers are going to be Max [Verstappen] and Checo [Perez] next year,’ Horner confirmed.
But he is very aware the Australian wants the Red Bull car.
‘It’s always good to have talent in reserve and I think Daniel … firmly wants to be pitching for that 2025 Red Bull seat,’ Horner said.
‘That’s his goal and objective, and by going to AlphaTauri, he sees that as his best route of stating his case for 2025.’
The task in Belgium will be hard from where he is on the grid but Ricciardo’s not losing sight of the ‘big picture’ given he has only had limited time in his AlphaTauri and is fast improving.
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez (pictured) is poised to make a big impression in Belgium after qualifying equal top on the grid
He is driving swiftly and he had initially gone sixth-fastest in practice before disaster struck when later eliminated in Q1 for exceeding track limits at Raidillon.
‘It’s frustrating of course,’ Ricciardo said.
‘I knew I basically tried to Eau Rouge flat. I thought it was possible and I just felt I was drifting off the good line and I had to lift to just stay on track and it was just drifting, drifting.
‘As soon as I got over that turn four kerb where they said I did track limits, I knew it was probably over. Obviously I tried to put it behind me and keep going on with the lap… but in the end it’s frustrating when you did a track limits and lose time.’
While the qualifying result was disappointing, Ricciardo remains pleased with his rapid progress in the AlphaTauri.
‘It’s encouraging, it obviously hurts for Sunday but we’ve got another chance tomorrow to put it behind me,’ Ricciardo said.
‘There’s a lot to still be encouraged by. I don’t like making mistakes but big picture we’re doing OK.’