Ricciardo‘s move to AlphaTauri, replacing Nyck De Vries, is seen by many spectators as a temporary holdover and a chance for the Australian to line himself up for a comeback to Red Bull Racing. Despite this speculation, Perez, whose contract extends until the end of 2024, stands firm on his position at Red Bull Racing.
In a conversation with F1 Initiative, Perez shrugged off any potential threat to his seat. He stated, “From my side, it doesn’t change anything, because like I’ve said, I drive for Red Bull. There’s not just Daniel out there, it’s Yuki [Tsunoda], more than half of the grid will love to drive for Red Bull. So it doesn’t change anything.”
Perez, who has been in F1 for 13 years, asserted his focus on the present rather than the distant future. “I’m focusing on Hungary and then in Belgium, I’m not really thinking about 2025, it’s so far ahead. It’s nonsense to think that far away.”
Elaborating on his relationship with the engineering team, he shared, “I’ve been with the engineers, so to be honest, I haven’t even had the time to discuss what’s going on with Daniel. I think it’s a great opportunity for him. And that’s it.”
Turning his thoughts to de Vries, Perez expressed disappointment. “Well, I feel sorry for Nyck. His F1 experience was brief and it was quite brutal – a very short experience of F1. But the future could hold something for him. This is F1 after all.”
When asked if de Vries should have been given more time, Perez responded, “It’s difficult to balance]. Sometimes drivers get more time than others due to particular circumstances. He had bad luck that Daniel was available.”
He further attributed the in-season changes seen at the Red Bull-owned teams to bad luck but noted that his own future is in his hands. He added, “I would rather be at home doing something else. I’m here because I know that I can do it, I’ve done it before. Other drivers, other teams have had difficult periods but then they don’t have 20 replacements after each session like they do with the Red Bull drivers.”