Perez predicts 'hard time' for Ricciardo alongside Hulkenberg

© XPB 

As a seven-time Grand Prix winner, Daniel Ricciardo will cast a tall shadow over Nico Hulkenberg at Renault, but it will be a different story on the race track says the German driver's former team mate Sergio Perez.

The Mexican spent several seasons alongside Hulkenberg at Force India from 2014 to 2016, where the pair were fairly evenly matched in performance during their three-year stint together. He can therefore naturally vouch for the Hulk's talent and skills.

"The Ricciardo to Renault [move] is quite an interesting one," said Perez.

"I think… to have someone like him in the midfield will just show how strong the midfield is at the moment.

"I think if things stay the same for next year, and the midfield is so close together, he’s going to enjoy a lot of competitive [battles].

"It will be interesting to see him with Hulkenberg as well because I think he’s going to have a hard time there with Nico."

With regard to his own future which for now appears to point to an extension of his deal with Force India - although he's also rumored to have been shortlisted by McLaren for 2019 - Perez could find himself partnering Lance Stroll.

He admitted however that assessing the 19-year-old 's performance since he graduated to F1 isn't an easy task.

"I think it’s so hard to know someone as a driver when you’re not being alongside him," added Perez.

"There’s so much difference in Formula 1 across teams, performance between cars you see, a difference in 2.5 seconds, it’s very hard to judge a driver.

"I think he did not too bad alongside Felipe [Massa], who’s a very experienced driver, I think right now Williams is in a very difficult position so it’s very hard to judge.

"I think he has grown up, he has very good experience now with two years at Williams so we’ll see what he’s able to do in that regard. It’s very hard to judge someone, not your team-mate."

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