Sergio Perez: Red Bull future is in my own hands

Saunders: Ricciardo is pumped on F1 return despite low expectations (2:13)

Nate Saunders reports from Hungaroring as Daniel Ricciardo says he has rediscovered his love for F1 ahead of his debut for AlphaTauri. (2:13)

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Sergio Perez has no concerns about Daniel Ricciardo's recent promotion to Alpha Tauri and what it might mean for his immediate future at Red Bull.

Eight-time race winner Ricciardo has replaced Nyck de Vries at the company's second team from this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix onwards and has made it clear he wants to return to Red Bull once Perez's contract expires at the end of 2024.

Given Perez's struggle to match teammate Max Verstappen's dominant form some have suggested a swap could happen even earlier.

Perez said Ricciardo is no different to any other driver in wanting to drive the sport's leading car.

"I'm happy for Daniel, he's very motivated to be back, so well done to him," Perez said on Thursday. "It's a great opportunity for him.

"From my side it doesn't change anything because I drive for Red Bull, there's not just Daniel out there. It's Yuki [Tsunoda], it's more than half of the grid would like to drive for Red Bull. So it doesn't change anything."

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has suggested Perez will see out his current contract with Red Bull, with Ricciardo targeting a return to the team in 2025.

When asked if he still felt confident he was in control of his future, Perez said: "It's in my hands, correct. That's why I'm focused.

"I'm a winner, I don't like having bad weekends, it's not what I'm here for. I'd rather be at home doing something else. I'm here because I know that I can do it and I've done it before. People on the sofa forget how much in the little bit we are.

"You've seen it with other drivers, other teams, they've had difficult periods. But then they don't have [speculation about] 20 replacements after each session like they do with the Red Bull drivers."

Perez has struggled to match the dominant form of teammate Max Verstappen and has not made the final qualifying session five times in a row.

Verstappen is on a six-race winning streak and leads Perez in the championship by a mammoth 99 points -- to put that into context, a single victory earns a driver 25 points.

After the British Grand Prix, where Perez fought back from 15th on the grid to finish sixth, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said he had confidence his driver could record a clean weekend this weekend in Budapest to turn his poor form around.

Perez, who won two of the opening four races this year, agreed that one good event should be enough to end his current funk.

"Yeah, I think that is the case. The pace is there, that's the most important. We just have to make sure we deliver.

"Nothing is instant in F1, as we know. At the same time, we just have to look back at my season, and if I'm second in the world championship, it's for a reason.

"I've had a rough patch, it's true, but I've also had a good start to the season. It's just balancing out, looking at those races, what worked, and looking at the bad races and what didn't, and just make sure we make progress weekend after weekend."