Daniel Ricciardo is refusing to give up on his dream of finishing his F1 career with Red Bull despite Sergio Perez’s signing of a new contract until the end of the F1 2026 season.

Ricciardo has made no secret to return to Red Bull Racing, with whom he claimed all but one of his eight career victories between 2014 and 2018, since returning to the grid in mid-2023.

Daniel Ricciardo not giving up on dream Red Bull return

However, the Australian has struggled to recapture his old form since his comeback either side of a broken hand suffered at last year’s Dutch Grand Prix, with Ricciardo’s patchy form in F1 2024 ending his hopes of replacing Perez for the foreseeable future.

Red Bull announced ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix that Perez has signed a new two-year contract, tying him to the Milton Keynes-based outfit until the end of F1 2026.

Shortly before qualifying in Montreal, meanwhile, it was confirmed that Yuki Tsunoda will be staying with the RB junior team for F1 2025, potentially creating a fight for the second seat between Ricciardo and Red Bull’s highly rated reserve driver Liam Lawson.

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Ricciardo has acknowledged that his own results have not been strong enough to justify a return to Red Bull’s senior team, having struggled to follow up his fourth-placed finish in the Miami sprint race.

But despite turning 35 next month, he has claimed that Perez’s extension doesn’t “mean anything” for his hopes of returning to Red Bull.

He told reporters in Canada: “I don’t think it means anything like ‘that’s it’ in terms of [my prospects]. I don’t see it as: ‘Oh, maybe I won’t get a chance.’

“Personally, I’ve had one amazing result in Miami but the rest of my season has been not really what I expect out of myself.

“I want my season to go better than it is to really help with any opportunities like that. I’m also realistic.

“I feel like I still want it to be progressing quicker, but I do think we are taking steps and I still believe I can turn it around, just do better moving forward and just kick some butt.

“And obviously, if I’m here next year then that’ll also make me happy.”

Asked if his focus now is on retaining his RB seat for F1 2025, he said: “Definitely.

“That was already where my head was at, because I knew Miami was [good], but I haven’t really done enough to really raise hairs. I’m just trying to do that more and that’s it.

“To be honest, the mindset hasn’t changed.

“We’re not halfway through the season yet, but we’re fairly into it now and I’ve had one result which I was really, really happy with and then others which I’ve been maybe less so.

“I just probably hold myself accountable for not doing anything too spectacular. And when you’re obviously trying to fight for a top seat, you need to be doing some pretty awesome things.

“I think that’s why I say I don’t think it means it will never happen – it’s still a place I’d love to finish my career – but obviously now in the short term that’s not going to happen.

“So mindset-wise, that was still an end goal, but right now I’m here and stated that I need to do well and get some more points and I’m happy doing that here.

“I think the team is doing a good job to help me out with that, so it’s just up to me.”

Ricciardo is adamant that his natural speed has not diminished, but conceded that he needs to work on his consistency having waited until Canada to score his first points in a grand prix this season.

He added: “More right pedal, less left.

“I know I still have the speed, so that’s not really a place where I’m [looking] at.

“But it’s really just week in, week out. I think that’s where I’ve maybe just had to work a little bit too hard to fight for that consistency at the moment.

“Since Monaco, I took a good look at myself with things and trying to [address it].

“I don’t think I need to flip the thing upside down, but it’s [about] making one or two changes here and there to just give me that extra little bit to make a weekend smoother and then keep that momentum going.”

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