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Ricciardo: 2025 Red Bull F1 seat a goal, not a focus

Daniel Ricciardo says a Red Bull Formula 1 seat is a goal rather than his focus as he believes his battle with Yuki Tsunoda will bring out the best in both.

Daniel Ricciardo, Visa Cash App RB F1 Team

Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

With Sergio Perez's Red Bull contract expiring at the end of the year, the Mexican's highly-coveted seat for 2025 remains up for grabs as part of an intriguing driver market.
Unless Red Bull decides to poach a driver from a rival outfit, Ricciardo and Tsunoda are set to be Perez's main competitors for the seat, already being under contract in-house at sister team RB
The pair are also further kept on their toes by the presence of Liam Lawson, who stays on as reserve driver for both Red Bull teams after an impressive 2023 cameo.
While Ricciardo believes his friendly rivalry with Tsunoda will bring out the "best competitors" in both of them, he says his goal of returning to Red Bull won't become a major focus throughout the year.
"I think it's good to have that as a goal for both of us, it's natural," Ricciardo said on the eve of F1's 2024 season-opener in Bahrain.
"It's nice for it to be somewhere towards the back of our head. But I think on a positive, that will bring out the best competitors in us and hopefully drive each other a little bit further.
"But am I lining up on the grid, thinking about 'Oh, if I have a good race, I'm going to be in that seat?' No. It's there as a goal. But it's not there as my focus."
Daniel Ricciardo, Visa Cash App RB F1 Team

Daniel Ricciardo, Visa Cash App RB F1 Team

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Following half a year on the sidelines, Ricciardo endured a stop-start F1 return with the Anglo-Italian squad in 2023 after fracturing his wrist during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix.
Having now had the benefit of a smooth off-season to gear up for his first full-time campaign since 2022, Ricciardo feels much better prepared as you can't "cheat it and just jump in halfway through the season and think that you're going to be 100%".
But he says his experience of being dropped by McLaren and sitting out the first 10 races of 2023 has also made him more relaxed on whether he achieves his dream Red Bull return.
"I come into [the season] with the acknowledgement of: 'As quickly as I'm back, as quickly it can get taken away'," he explained.
"I got asked before what my thoughts are on trying to get back to the Red Bull seat and I kind of refuse to look too far down the track.
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"We're here, there's a job to do at the start of the season. Thinking anything beyond this week is kind of crazy.
"And I think sitting out and losing a seat has given me that little bit of perspective so you're not getting too far ahead, don't get too caught up in anything.
"What that mindset, I'll be able to put everything into this given day and given time and not get distracted."

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