Friday, July 19, 2024

Ricciardo Makes F1 Return to Replace De Vries at AlphaTauri

Daniel Ricciardo has returned to Formula 1 to replace Nyck de Vries at Scuderia AlphaTauri, it was confirmed this afternoon.

Ricciardo will race for AlphaTauri on loan from Oracle Red Bull Racing from the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards replacing rookie De Vries, who has been dropped after a string of poor performances that have seen him not score a point this season. De Vries joined the team at the start of the season, but the Formula 2 and Formula E winner has not met expectations in the first half of the season, and has been axed with the team struggling at the bottom of the Championship.

Ricciardo took to the track for the first time in 2023 in the RB19 in a Pirelli tyre test following the British Grand Prix at Silverstone today but is now set to make a full return to racing alongside Yuki Tsunoda in the Red Bull junior team.

This gives Ricciardo a lifeline in F1 after being dropped by McLaren F1 Team at the end of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season due to poor performances, in comparison to his much younger teammate Lando Norris. The eight-time Grand Prix winner, who most recently won the 2021 Italian Grand Prix for McLaren, leading a 1-2 with Norris behind, returned to the Red Bull family as a third driver for the upcoming season before evaluating his options in 2024, but the Australian has been given a chance to get back on track, and it comes with limited expectations as AlphaTauri sit bottom of the Constructors’ Championship with arguably the worst performing car on the grid.

AlphaTauri Team Principal Franz Tost was pleased to welcome Ricciardo back to the team, who previously raced for the team when it was called Toro Rosso in 2012 and 2013 before replacing Mark Webber at Red Bull. Tost hopes the move is a positive one that can help AlphaTauri move back up the standings.

“I’m very pleased to welcome Daniel back into the team. There’s no doubt about his driving skill, and he already knows many of us, so his integration will be easy and straight-forward. The team will also profit a lot from his experience, as he is an eight-time Formula 1 Grand Prix winner. I would like to thank Nyck for his valuable contribution during his time with Scuderia AlphaTauri, and I wish him all the best for the future.”

Ricciardo is no stranger to doing well at the Hungaroring having won before at the circuit, as well as taking three podiums, and his experience could be crucial for AlphaTauri, not just in Hungary but for the rest of the 2023 season.

Credit: Drew Gibson/Getty Images – Previous Winner in Hungary