Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is pleased with the first indications from Daniel Ricciardo, who looks to rediscover his best form with AlphaTauri in the remainder of 2023.
Ricciardo’s dismissal at McLaren was abrupt, putting the Australian in a difficult position to angle himself in the driver market for a top drive.
As made clear in numerous interviews from the 34-year-old, fighting at the front of F1 is his motivation. Therefore, AlphaTauri represents a stepping stone for a potential Red Bull seat.
However, to put himself in consideration for a promotion, the Australian driver must outperform his teammate Yuki Tsunoda. Tsunoda’s impressive points finish in Belgium is a reminder that he will be a difficult benchmark to overcome.
In any case, Ricciardo seems to be finding his feet relatively well at the Faenza squad, as evidenced by Christian Horner’s recent appraisal:
“I thought for a comeback drive in difficult circumstances; he actually acquitted himself very, very well,” Planet F1 quotes him as saying.
“What he’s brought to AlphaTauri is a huge amount of experience and possibly some direction, obviously with the experience he brings as a race winner.
“Obviously, the reason Daniel was brought back into the seat is not because he has long-term aspirations to be an AlphaTauri driver.
“I think that clearly, his objectives are on a 2025 Red Bull Racing seat when we have obviously a vacancy.
“Now Daniel has an opportunity, between now and the end of the year, to demonstrate that he hasn’t lost any of his form.”
Christian Horner’s words suggest Sergio Perez is guaranteed a Red Bull seat until 2025, but the last 18 months have shown us that Helmut Marko is not afraid to make big changes.
In any case, with the second half of the season ahead, Ricciardo will have plenty of opportunities to showcase his level.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang