Perez will enter his third year with the team in 2023, but he’s yet to mount a serious challenge to Max Verstappen over the course of a season.

With Ricciardo - who spent a number of years alongside Verstappen at Red Bull before - returning to the team, many see it as a move that will put additional pressure on Perez to perform.

Explained: New rules for F1 2023 season

Speaking after the launch of Red Bull’s new car in New York, Perez played down the signing of Ricciardo.

“When you are at Red Bull Racing you have to perform at your best, it doesn’t matter if Daniel is here or not because Red Bull can pick pretty much any driver from the grid,” Perez said. 

Perez was quick to point out the advantages of having Ricciardo in the team, given his wealth of experience and pedigree. 

“We are fortunate to have Daniel, with the level of experience that he has,” Perez added. “To have him back at the factory with the engineers? 

“When we talk about the car, he knows what we are talking about. To have him around at weekends will really help.”

Despite playing a big role in Verstappen’s first title triumph, there was some tension between the pair following the Sao Paulo Grand Prix at the end of last year.

Verstappen refused to let Perez through to help him in his fight against Charles Leclerc for second in the championship, with the Dutchman hunting afterwards because of a prior incident earlier in the season in Monaco. 

When asked about if any tension remains with Verstappen, Perez stressed the need to “maximise the team effort”.

“It’s important to work as a team,” Perez explained. “It is clear - we want to maximise the team effort. “It’s not all about Max or myself, it’s about the team. We have people in the factory giving everything for us so we have to respond in that regard.

“I am working very hard on my side with my engineers to make sure that we can make the next step.”