Red Bull is reportedly considering moving Daniel Ricciardo from RB to the Milton Keynes-based outfit should Sergio Perez fail to pull himself out of his current slump.

The Mexican’s dream of a long-term future with Red Bull might be on hold. Perez, who signed a contract extension until 2026 earlier this season, has seen his performance plummet in recent races.

After a strong start with four podium finishes in the first five races, Perez hasn’t cracked the top three since the Chinese Grand Prix, while teammate Max Verstappen had claimed three pole positions and a trio of wins in the last six races.

Two retirements and a string of finishes outside the podium have seen Perez fall to fifth in the driver’s championship, with McLaren’s Oscar Piastri hot on his heels.

The 34-year-old’s dramatic underperformance has inevitably reignited rumors of a potential driver swap at Red Bull.

According to a report by Auto Motor und Sport, a return for Daniel Ricciardo to his former team is a possibility if Perez’s struggles continue.

The report suggests that Perez’s contract might have built-in “strict performance clauses” while Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr. Helmut Marko alluded to a potential decision by the summer break.

Earlier this season, Ricciardo openly stated his desire for a return to Red Bull. While his move to Visa Cash App RB was seen as a way to assess his performance after a difficult final year at Red Bull, he remains the only one among Red Bull’s affiliated drivers in F1 – including reserve driver Liam Lawson – without a contract for next season.

While Perez’s contract extension seemingly closed the door on Ricciardo’s return, his recent struggles have opened it back up.

Red Bull clearly has options, with Lawson waiting in the wings. However, Ricciardo’s experience and past success with Red Bull make him a tempting option, especially considering RB’s history of developing young drivers, which could potentially free up a seat for Lawson.

The pressure is now on Perez to turn his season around. The upcoming summer break could be a turning point, not just for the championship fight, but also for Perez’s future at Red Bull.

At Silverstone on Thursday, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was asked quite directly if Red Bull had made a mistake by signing Perez so early in the season.

“That’s a brutally hard question,” he told Sky Sports.

“Of course, at the point you sign a driver the contents of any agreement are not going to be disclosed with the likes of you lot.

“It made absolute sense to sign Sergio at that point in time. This is a business where there’s pressure to deliver,” added Horner.

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“Sergio’s had a tough spell and his first five races were very competitive. It’s the last five have been nowhere.

“We want to see the Sergio from the first five back. He knows that. He’s aware of that.

“He’s been working hard on that. He’s been in the sim this week. He’s working hard to understand where it’s not just playing out for him.

“What we’ve constantly seen with him is that resilience to bounce back. We’re hoping to see that very soon.”

Will Perez regain his early-season form and solidify his place with the team, or will Red Bull gamble on a Ricciardo revival? Only time will tell.

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