‘Daniel Ricciardo would have beaten Sergio Perez to F1 2023 title in Red Bull RB19’

Oliver Harden
塞尔吉奥·法勒斯和Daniel Ricciardo. Red Bull launch New York February 2023.

In a world without Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo would have beaten Sergio Perez to the F1 2023 title in the all-conquering Red Bull RB19 car.

That is the opinion of F1 commentator Peter Windsor, who believes Ricciardo would have been better equipped to handle the car’s few shortcomings than Perez.

Perez has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks having failed to reach Q3 for five consecutive races, with the Mexican starting inside the top 10 at just four of the 10 rounds so far this season, while team-mate Verstappen claimed his sixth victory in succession at last weekend’s British Grand Prix.

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The decision of Red Bull junior team AlphaTauri to replace the underperforming Nyck de Vries with Ricciardo for the remainder of the season has been viewed as a move to apply pressure on Perez, with Ricciardo making no secret of his desire to return to a full-time race seat.

Duringa recent YouTube stream, Windsor was asked to imagine a world in which Ricciardo and Perez were fighting for the 2023 title as Red Bull team-mates, with the former title-winning Williams team manager backing his fellow Australian to prevail.

But, Windsor stressed, it would depend largely on the loyalties of Red Bull design guru Adrian Newey.

He said: “I would say Daniel. I think Daniel would have got on top of the tyre temperature thing and he would have been good in the wet in Melbourne qualifying.

“Probably wouldn’t have beaten Perez at Baku but he would have been capable of driving somewhere near Max’s race in Miami. Not as good as Max but he would have been second or third.

“I think over the season Daniel would have done it.

“It kind of depends on what Adrian was doing, I think. If Daniel was in Adrian’s ear – or Adrian was listening, let’s put it that way – then I think Daniel.

“If Adrian said: ‘Daniel, don’t want to know about you, you left the team, go away’ and was working completely completely and utterly with Perez, then maybe Perez.”

在抵达F1作为红牛产品的交流ademy, Ricciardo raised eyebrows back in 2018 by deciding to leave the team for Renault after a successful five-season spell, before spending two punishing years alongside Lando Norris at McLaren in 2021/22.

Despite memorably ending McLaren’s nine-year winless run at Monza in his first year, his consistently poor performances saw him lose his race seat at the end of last season and return to Red Bull as the team’s reserve driver.

While not World Champion material, Windsor believes Ricciardo would have had “at least” eight more wins to his name at this stage had he opted to remain as Verstappen’s team-mate.

He said: “I think he drove very like George Russell [in his first Red Bull stint].

“I think he had slightly longer corners than you’d see a Charles [Leclerc] or a Max now using but very precise and I think he had the seamless turn in of an Alexander Albon combined with the native feeling for racing of George Russell.

“He was really good and he was beaten by Max’s short corners and Max’s consistency and Max’s ability to drive the way he does just every time out [of the pit lane], whereas Daniel was a little bit more flair and needed a situation to get himself fired up, I think. It’s probably a bit of a cliche to say that.

“Very good in traffic, very good on race day – a little bit like Fernando [Alonso] – but very good. He was very good.

“He blew [Sebastian] Vettel away in that last year together at Red Bull when Vettel was there. They didn’t have much downforce at the rear in that last year and Daniel made that car look really good because he’s got a nice touch.

“Had he stayed at Red Bull – it just breaks my heart to say – but I think he would have won at least eight more grands prix now. I don’t think he would have won a World Championship, I think they’d have all gone to Max.

“It’s a great shame.


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“The minute you make the wrong decision for the wrong reason and you leave the best team in racing – and when I say ‘team’ I mean team capable of putting together a car technically efficient more or less every year and to run it really well on the ground in the pit lane, that’s what Red Bull do year in, year out. Sometimes they don’t have the best car but they always have a pretty good car.

“He left that team to go to another team because he didn’t like getting beaten by Max for a lot more money. And the minute you do that, it just goes through your whole psyche in my view and that’s where we see Daniel today.

“He’s got his money, he left a great team, then he was back there as third driver watching from the sidelines. It’s very sad that he did that.

“I’m amazed that he did that because I thought he had more strength of character and there were enough people at Red Bull – good people like Jonathan Wheatley – who wanted him to stay that kept saying: ‘Don’t do this, Daniel, it’s crazy. You’re still going to win grands prix against Max. Yes, he is a quicker driver but you’ve got qualities that he doesn’t have and those things will win you grands prix still so stay with us.’

“And he left. Great shame.”

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