Red Bull boss vetoes Marko demands

It seems as though it will be when and not if that Daniel Ricciardo returns to the Formula One grid following the Australian’s recent admission he has “unfinished business” in the sport.

Yet how or when is not so clear given the strict parameters Daniel has set for an ‘honey badger’ return to the grid.



Ricciardo wants a top team drive

“I still am at a point where it’s [a return to F1] not at any cost, it’s not just to be back on the grid,” said Ricciardo in Melbourne.

“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.

“I want to be back with a top team and obviously a team where I have my confidence back and my mojo.”

This narrows down the opportunity significantly for the likeable Australian given at present only three teams have any hope of challenging for a race win and then only if Red Bull slip up.

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Daniel denies being unrealistic

Further, Daniel’s results at McLaren hardly merit a top drive as he was outperformed by Lando Norris for both seasons he drove for the Woking based team.

Ricciardo denies he’s being unrealistic given the years he’s spent building his Formula One career. Only the three world champions and Valterri Bottas on the grid at present have more Grand Prix wins than Ricciardo.

“It’s not coming from an arrogant place. But I’m just past that [driving for a second rate team]. I don’t think that’s going to stimulate me or give me that second wind I’m looking for.” 

Yet despite Ricciardo’s ‘top team or quit’ target there is a scenario that wold see the Australian back on the grid and not with a top team but sooner rather than later.



De Vries threatened with the sack

As TJ13 reported yesterday Red Bull’s mentor of junior drivers and consultant Helmut Marko has given Alpha Tauris new recruit a hurry up.

Nyck de Vries was recruited by Red Bull to replace Pierre Gasly and Helmut Marko said at the time he expected the young Dutch driver to become the team leader.

De Vries has yet to score a point and according to has been given an ultimatum. He has the three back to back races coming up to improve or he is at risk of being replaced.

Whilst Liam Lawson is Alpha Taurus reserve driver he is competing in Japan in Super Formula and would be unlikely to be recalled in such a scenario.

Wolff admits huge problem for Mercedes



Red Bull boss rebukes Marko’s comments

More likely is Daniel Ricciardo would step in to asses the capabilities of the car and those of Yuki Tsunoda together with an assessment of where the Australian is at in his recovery from the bruising times at McLaren.

However, Alpha Tauri team boss Franz Tost has responded to Helmut Marko’s ultimatum issued to de Vries and seeks to remind him that even the ultimately most successful drivers who join Formula One require time to establish themselves in the sport.

Tost argues this is true even though de Vries is no traditional rookie having won the Formula Two championship then gone on with Mercedes to win the drivers’ title in the hotly contested Formula E series.

“Yuki is doing a really good job. You can see his learning curve is going up very good, I must say,” says Tost.

“And Nyck, as I always say, if a rookie is coming to Formula One, he needs minimum three years to understand what’s going on here. 



Alpha Tauri deny Ricciardo rumour

It’s as I always say [it’s] the learning process and the ‘crash period’ because if the drivers don’t crash, they don’t know the limit. This is a credit you must give them, otherwise it doesn’t work.

“There was no driver not crashing. I remember back to Sebastian, maybe in the first races came back in the first lap, most often without the front nose. It’s part of the game.”

De Vries earned his shot in F1 after substituting for Alex Albon in Monza last year when the Williams driver was rushed into hospital for an emergency appendectomy.

Alpha Tauri have sought to shut down rumours of Ricciardo’s impending replacement of De Vries. They state that, “no conversations have taken place” between the two parties.

Steiner slams Schumacher



Ricciardo hoping for Perez seat

Further, reports that Ricciardo was in the region to meet with Alpha Tauri have been squashed following the explanation he was in fact attending the wedding of Scotty James and Chloe Stroll and it was all a co-incidence.

Alpha Tauri have confirmed that Ricciardo did attend a meeting with team for a seat fitting prior to the Miami GP because their reserve driver Liam Lawson was on duty in Japan.

With Ricciardo already scheduled to appear in Miami it then made sense for him to be their stand by reserve driver.

As to Daniel’s return to Formula One in a top team seat, his best hope is the feud between Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez fires up again thus opening the door should the Mexican driver’s contract option not be taken up for next season.

READ MORE: Norris says Piastri better than Ricciardo

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