F1 favorite Daniel Joseph Ricciardo, who was let go by McLaren in 2022, is back in the racing world. This time, the 34-year-old Australian will be driving for AlphaTauri, Red Bull’s sister team, till the season ends.
At the beginning of this season, he was taken in by Red Bull and given the position of the third driver for the world championship leaders. However, on Tuesday, Red Bull made a surprising announcement.
According to the international racing team, Ricciardo has been loaned out to take the place of Nyck de Vries in their junior team until the end of the season.
The move shocked many people because Ricciardo had mentioned several times that when he returned, he would only return in a competitive car, and AlphaTauri is not on the list of competitive cars.
Ricciardo, an eight-time Grand Prix winner, has been through a challenging period since leaving Red Bull in 2018. He spent two different seasons at Renault and McLaren until he was released a year before his contract was supposed to end in 2022.
Former British racing driver Martin Brundle said, “I am pleased to see him back. My honest reaction was, ‘Wow! Daniel is going to do that?’ I was surprised.”
Martin Brundle said Ricciardo always spoke about how he had lost his enthusiasm and how he needed to get it back. “I am certain that being unable to be a Formula 1 driver would have hit him hard, so I understand the attraction of coming back as one of the 20 on the grid,” Martin said.
At AlphaTauri, Ricciardo would compete against a new teammate, Yuki Tsunoda, the Japanese driver who had surpassed Nyck de Vries.
Martin Brundle stated that despite Yuki Tsunoda’s performance, given the grace of one or two races to get used to AlphaTauri, Ricciardo must exceed his teammate’s performance to establish his future in F1.
“It is very risky for Daniel to be in what is presumably the slowest car on the grid, but he has to beat Tsunoda. He needs to edge him in the races. Brundle also explained that if Ricciardo performs well, gets the car near the top 10, and keeps it in the race, it will be his salvation.
Ricciardo’s return was confirmed after testing Red Bull’s dominant RB19 at Silverstone on Tuesday morning. The principal of the Red Bull team, Christian Horner, gave a statement that suggested Daniel Ricciardo’s exceptionally competitive performance during the tire test had been one of the major factors behind his move to AlphaTauri.
Martin Brundle, however, expressed some doubts about Christian’s statement. He said, “I can’t believe that is what made their mind up. The fact that he was in the car in the first place is the obvious clue. Why was he in the car for other reasons?” Martin argued. “They have not exactly concealed that they were going to sack Nyck de Vries,” Martin concluded.