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Perez: Ricciardo AlphaTauri F1 move “doesn’t change anything”

Sergio Perez says that Daniel Ricciardo’s move to the AlphaTauri Formula 1 team “doesn’t change anything” for him, and adds that his own future is in his hands.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Many observers see Ricciardo’s arrival at AlphaTauri as the replacement for Nyck de Vries as in effect a holding situation and an opportunity for the Australian to put in a claim for a return to a Red Bull Racing seat.

Perez is contracted to the end of 2024, which has led many observers to assume that Ricciardo will return to RBR after a season and a half with AlphaTauri.

However, the Mexican insisted that it's normal for his seat to be coveted by other drivers.

“From my side, it doesn't change anything, because like I’ve said, I drive for Red Bull," said Perez when asked by Autosport about the recent developments.

"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.”

He added: "I've been in F1 for 13 years so I'm not a guy that any more thinks so much further ahead.

“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.

Daniel Ricciardo, Scuderia AlphaTauri

Daniel Ricciardo, Scuderia AlphaTauri

Photo by: Michael Potts / Motorsport Images

“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."

Offering a thought for de Vries, Perez said: "Well, I feel sorry for Nyck. He had a very short experience, it was quite brutal in that regard - it was a very short experience of F1.

"But you never know what the future will hold for him. And it's just how it is, this is F1."

Following his one-off substitute appearance for Williams at Monza year, de Vries competed on 10 occasions for AlphaTauri, failing to score a point in 2023.

Pressed as to whether de Vries had deserved more time, Perez said: "It's really hard to balance it out. Sometimes there are drivers that have a bit more time than others just because of circumstances. He was unlucky that Daniel was available."

The removal of de Vries from AlphaTauri is the latest in a series of instances of in-season driver changes at the two Red Bull-owned teams. 

Yet Perez noted of his future: "It's in my hands, correct.

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"I am the first one, I'm a winner, I don't like having bad weekends, it's not what I'm here for. 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. People just on the sofa forget how much in the little details we are. You've seen it with other drivers, other teams. They've had different difficult periods but then they don't have 20 replacements after each session like they do with the Red Bull drivers.”

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