Chandhok sees 'interesting fight' at Red Bull between Perez and Ricciardo

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Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok believes there could be an "interesting fight" for a seat at Red Bull in 2024 between Sergio Perez and reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo.

Perez is theoretically contracted to Red Bull until the end of 2024, but the Mexican could nevertheless find himself in a precarious position if he consistently underperforms relative to his leading teammate Max Verstappen.

Ricciardo is Red Bull's designated "third driver" this year while Kiwi Liam Lawson will act as the team's official back-up. However, Chandhok suggests the Aussie could return to a race seat in 2024 if Perez falters, and if Ricciardo can be properly assessed.

"I'm waiting to see how it plays out because the last time Daniel drove a Red Bull was in 2018, and Formula 1 cars have changed a lot," the former F1 driver told Sky Sports F1.

"It's like a different category now. I think Max [Verstappen] has changed a lot, [given] the trajectory he's been on. He's a 25-year-old whose confidence is growing.

"I think Daniel versus Checo is an interesting fight for the '24 seat. How do they evaluate Daniel?

"That's what I I'm interested to see because, yeah, they can put them in the [simulator], but it's not the same as driving the old car.

"So will they give him a go in a test somewhere? That's what I'd like to see, is how do they genuinely evaluate Daniel Ricciardo today?"

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has suggested that Ricciardo's involvement with Red Bull in 2023 will be more on the marketing side, as Kiwi Liam Lawson will be the team's official back-up driver for this season.

Chandhok's Sky F1 colleague David Croft insists that at 33 years of age, Ricciardo is by no means "the future of Red Bull".

"I think that they're two very different styles of driver," Croft explained.

"They're both capable of winning races but, to me, they win races in very different ways. I hate to say this – I think Daniel's a terrific bloke, but he is not the future for Red Bull, not by any stretch of the imagination, mainly because of age.

"When Max spoke at the end of the season and talked about potentially stopping at the age of 31, that's a big revelation to me.

"He's already thinking about the time he stops racing. If he's thinking that, then Red Bull should be thinking it too. Personally, I'd be trying to identify somebody else to come in [in the future]."

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