Max Verstappen’s answer to Daniel Ricciardo vs Sergio Perez question speaks volumes

Although Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen are scheduled to race together again at Red Bull in 2024, there are persistent rumors that Daniel Ricciardo may take Sergio Perez’s place.

Daniel Ricciardo might have a chance to take Sergio Perez’s spot for the upcoming season, according to Max Verstappen’s hint.

This season, the Dutchman has totally outperformed his current teammate. Perez has less than half of his points total and is in a tight race with Lewis Hamilton for second place in the championship, but he already won the drivers’ title weeks ago.

Red Bull has continuously supported Perez in his quest to return to his peak performance, and Perez has a contract through 2024. However, rumors that Ricciardo is being set up to take his place haven’t abated.

And following the Mexican Grand Prix this past weekend, the commotion surrounding that specific rumor only got louder. After outqualifying his competitor for that Red Bull seat in the slower sister AlphaTauri car, Perez wrecked his home race at the first corner, and the Australian finished seventh.

When asked about his teammates’ circumstances for the upcoming season, Verstappen tried to emphasize that he will be content to continue collaborating with Perez. However, he did imply that there is a possibility the Mexican will no longer be a Red Bull racer in 2024.

“If it’s Checo next year, we have a good working relationship,” he said, raising eyebrows with his lack of certainty over the matter. “If it is Daniel, we’ll have fun. F1 is a tough sport.”

He went on to dodge a question over who he would choose to race alongside next year. “I find it a bit unfair to sit here and say who I would prefer,” he replied when asked if he would welcome Ricciardo back to the team with open arms.

Ricciardo has made it clear he hopes to reclaim the seat he vacated five years ago. But, in an exclusive interview with Mirror Sport, the 34-year-old insisted he will be content if a Red Bull return is not on the cars in these final years of his F1 career.

“The long term goal is to return to that team and that car, but I also stated that I want to stay here if there isn’t an opening,” he stated. The team is rebuilding for the upcoming season, so if there’s anything I can do to help push this group forward and earn them more respect, that would be it. This is it, if it’s not the big team.

They’ve advised me to take full advantage of this chance. His AlphaTauri teammate Yuki Tsunoda has been playing really well this year, so I use him as a benchmark and a good gauge. I have to work hard to contribute to the team and try to get some points, and then take it from there.”

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