Update: We know that Daniel Ricciardo confirms he will only race if he has access to a top race seat, and now it appears a seat has been offered to the likeable Aussie, but for many, they might not consider it worthy of the Red Bull reserve driver – This article is an update from the one published on 12 April 2023.
Less than three years ago Daniel Ricciardo was being spoken of by Ross Brawn as a potential Formula One world champion. Having driven alongside Verstappen for the best part of three seasons and beating him in two of them, the Aussie left Red Bull Racing at the end of 2018 for Renault.
Ricciardo saw off Nico Hulkenberg in his first season with the French team and was in the process of demolishing his new team mate Esteban Ocon when Brawn made his observations after the 2020 race in Imola.
Brawn says Ricciardo title challenger
Daniel had clocked up two podiums in the last three races by in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in what is his second and last season with Renault before joining McLaren. He had single handedly raised Renault to P3 in the constructors’ championship.
“Daniel Ricciardo is a brilliant driver and one of the very best in Formula 1,” said Brawn in his regular column on the Formula 1 website. “His drive to another podium was very impressive.
“If he had a Mercedes, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind he would be taking race wins and pole positions and challenging for the World Championship.
“I hope McLaren can give Daniel a car he deserves next season. He’s a great member of the F1 fraternity.”
Russell demeans opening flyaway races
Swayed by Brown’s promised land
Fated words indeed.
McLaren did not give him that car despite Zak Brown’s call to the promised land in Woking. And less than two years later, for many Ricciardo was washed up and his F1 career finished.
Yet can a driver who elicits such praise from a Formula One great such as Ross Brawn be really finished so quickly?
Ricciardo did have options he refused to explore last season if Gunther Steiner of Haas is to be believed.
Hamilton: “Accept loss of pace”
Ricciardo better record than Perez
In one episode of Drive to Survive, Steiner and Magnussen are contemplating who could replace Mick Schumacher for the 2023 season.
Kevin Magnussen reportedly showed his excitement at the idea of Ricciardo, but Haas team principal Guenther Steiner quickly dismissed the Aussie joining after looking at his contract demand
“We can’t afford him, Kevin,” Steiner retorted. “He wants 10 f**king million. Minimum!”
It must be remembered excluding the three current world champion drivers on the grid, Daniel Ricciardo has the most Grand Prix wins (8) of all the current drivers, besides Valterri Bottas (10).
Further, Sergio Perez 5 wins have all come in a championship winning car which Ricciardo never had.
Ecclestone behind Massa court case
Daniel set his sights high
Ricciardo made it clear from the moment McLaren released him last year he was targeting a top team drive for his return to Formula One.
“I’m not going to do everything…. just to put me on the grid. If it’s not right or it doesn’t make sense.”
Ricciardo continued talking of searching for “an environment I feel I can thrive in. I don’t want to just jump into a car for the sake of it.”
Wolff lowers Mercedes’ ambitions
“Top seat target” still the goal
In an interview with Sky Daniel again confirms he is only interested on returning to F1 if he can secure a top race seat.
“A lot of the reason for taking this year off was that I didn’t want to just jump back into a car, any car just to be one of the F1 drivers.
“And I still don’t see myself starting from scratch and rebuilding a career and going at it for another decade.”
Insider “truths” about Verstappen
Opportunities are ‘limited’
Many F1 pundits have parsed every opportunity Riciciardo may have in 2024 but the loveable Aussie confirms he understands the opportunities he seeks are limited.
“I appreciate I might not have every opportunity under the sun, but I want to win. I want to be back with a top team and obviously a team where I have my confidence back and my mojo.”
“I think also that’s where, maybe when I look back that’s a weakness of mine, but in a way it’s a strength as I feel better at the front of the grid. I feel like I perform in those situations with a bit more pressure and a bit more emphasis on a podium.”
Why McLaren’s recovery plan is full of risk
Ferrari may yet blow up
It seems to many F1 observers that Ricciardo has little hope of achieving his ambition, or is even delusional.
Yet strange things happen in F1, such as Ross Brawn calling out a driver with future world championship potential apparently now being out of the sport and finished just two years later.
Ferrari’s season may prove to be spectacularly poor and the team could then easily part company with either of its drivers.
There are latent tensions at Red Bull between Verstappen and Perez and should the Mexican be soundly beaten this year by his team mate, his option for 2024 may evaporate into thin air.
Ricciardo to drive RB19 in Spain
Aston Martin – Ricciardo instead of Stroll
Even Lawrence Stroll may wake up and smell the Roses, ditching his son for a driver alongside Alonso who can add further to the team’s tally of points pushing them even closer to the front of the grid.
The ever popular Nico Hulkenberg has demonstrated that even with three full years of no permanent F1 seat, there’s always a way back for a driver who is good enough.
Ricciardo is fortunate because no rookie drivers are coming through and staking a claim to a top drive. George Russell served his three year apprenticeship before he climbed into a permanent Mercedes seat and next in line of the time served juniors is Tsunoda – who has yet to deliver.
However 2024 is Monte Carlo or bust for Daniel. His only poor seasons have been in a McLaren car known to be difficult to drive.
Here’s to hoping Red Bull, Ferrari or Aston Martin – even Mercedes – come calling for Ricciardo, because he deserves to prove his two poor seasons were not merely down to his driving abilities.
READ MORE: Consequences for Alpine following Aussie smash up
Update – Steiner opens door…
Article updated on 17 April 2023
Günther Steiner opens door to Daniel Ricciardo’s return to the grid. The Haas F1 boss has said he is prepared to recruit the Australian driver for next season, depending on the performance of his current drivers. Ricciardo has made no secret of the fact that a return to the grid is something he has been itching to do. But would this move satisfy the requirement he confirmed above, he will move for a top F1 race seat? Debatable…
Last year, after his ousting from McLaren, where he spent two seasons, Ricciardo’s name was linked to the Haas F1 team as a replacement for Mick Schumacher. As mentioned above; according to Steiner, he was too greedy from a financial point of view and the American team finally turned to Nico Hülkenberg.
Recently asked about his future line-up, the Italian manager took the opportunity to put pressure on his drivers:
“Let’s see how it goes with our two drivers. But maybe at some point I will have to discuss with Daniel but I cannot promise anything, especially if our drivers do a good job.”
If he wants to lure Ricciardo to the team, Steiner is convinced that he will face a lot of competition:
“Everyone wants to talk to him after a year on the bench. Maybe he already knows what he wants to do, but what is certain is that he has a profile that can interest many teams in F1.”
To conclude, Steiner reminds us that the season has only just begun:
“At the moment we have a new driver this year and have only done three races. So I have to give him a chance.”
Nico Hülkenberg and Kevin Magnussen know what they have to do to keep their seats for another season.
MORE F1 NEWS: Vettel return to F1
The genius of Ayrton Senna… 30 years ago today! 🤯#F1 #OnThisDay pic.twitter.com/RgUgSOJiVs
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 11, 2023
Wtf is the point of this whole article…… hang on I get it , I’m the first man on mars , there that’s the truth coz I wrote it down .
You wrong an article titled “D.R confirms F1 seat” then your article goes on to prove what gutter lying press you are.